AFP/The Sun Daily, 11/29/2012
With congested airports, ramshackle roads and nighmarish urban traffic jams, Brazil faces a major transportation headache as it gears up for the 2014 World Cup.
Despite planned investments of $13.65 billion for the soccer extravaganza, this continent-sized country cannot make up in the remaining 18 months for decades of neglect of its infrastructure, experts say.
The key challenge in preparing for the tournament “is the infrastructure around the (host) stadiums and how to access them. Brazilian roads are dreadful, except for those of Sao Paulo and the airports are horrendous,” said sports analyst Juca Kfouri.
Am estimated 500,000 foreign tourists and three million Brazilians are expected to attend matches in 12 host cities for the first World Cup to be held in Brazil since 1950.
The road system is saturated in Brazil — traveling less than 30 kilometres in Rio can take two hours and in Sao Paulo, the country’s economic capital, rush-hour traffic bottlenecks can be 250 kilometres long.
In Brazil, the world’s sixth largest economy with a population of 194 million, traffic accidents claim on average 117 lives daily, often due to the poor quality of roads and inadequate signs.