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Brazil Sustainable Transport Business Opportunities

With the rapid population growth and urbanization, Brazilian cities have often expanded without planning. The implemented transport infrastructure is trying to accommodate the established urban development patterns but continues to fall short of the need imposed by demographic changes. The Brazilian federal, state and municipal governments are studying possibilities and allocating funds to provide the population with efficient public transportation.

With a continuously growing population, especially in the urban areas, and an increasing number of vehicles, the insufficient public transport system is causing population to turn to individual transport leading to two main problems for decision makers: congestion and pollution. Past practices and current trends are not sustainable for the transportation sector in Brazil and the government and private organizations have much work to do to address this issue and ongoing development. Cities are realizing the pollution problem and some, such as São Paulo, have established pollution reduction goals among other new policies. Many however meet the challenge of matching the requirement for new and environmentally friendly technologies with purchase price and operational costs.

The transportation community has over the last years shown an increasing interest in sustainable transportation and its linkages to land use and urban development patterns, economic growth, environmental impacts and social equality. In addressing this interest, Brazilian transportation agencies have re-examined their policies, planning and ways of working. An important problem in Brazil is that cities grow unplanned and so infrastructure is implemented afterwards. This makes the BRT and light-rail cheaper options than subway construction, since the BRT is approximately 20 times cheaper than the metro.

There is a lot to be done and this creates many and large opportunities for Swedish companies and organizations as Sweden has come a long way in many of these areas. Swedish companies have experience and products that can be part of the solution: alternative fuels, BRT adapted buses, components (COT filters) and entrances to the BRT stops are some examples of areas where there are business opportunities.

The business opportunities for Swedish exporters are good since the procurement processes usually are done by private buyers. On the other hand, political influence is high, since the municipalities and secretariats set guidelines and requirements, e.g. for the use of environmental friendly fuels. Also, traffic management systems have a good potential since the municipalities, not only see this as a way to improve traffic, but also as a way to increase revenues through fees and fines.