The greatest legacy in mobility for Rio de Janeiro from the Olympic Games - Subway Line 4 - is ready to start operating between Barra da Tijuca and Ipanema, shortening distances to improve the quality of life of the local population. The project alone is equivalent to the entire underground network built in the last 30 years in the city. After its inauguration this Saturday, July 30, locals and visitors will have a quick, modern, efficient and sustainable transport option.

According to a study by Fundação Getulio Vargas (FGV), Line 4 will increase productivity in the city and generate annual savings of approximately R$883 million by reducing commute time by at least one hour, otherwise lost in traffic jams between Barra and the city’s South Zone. Over the 25-year concession term of the new line, savings should reach R$22 billion, with which the equivalent of two Metro Line 4 systems could be constructed.

Line 4 will carry 300,000 passengers daily, removing some 4,000 vehicles per hour from the roads during rush hour on the stretch between Barra and the South Zone. According to a demand study conducted by FGV, the migration of passengers from other means of transport to Line 4 will reduce car travel between Barra and the South Zone by approximately 40%. These users represent around 28% of the total demand for Line 4. In the case of buses, the reduction is estimated at around 48%, contributing to 72% of the total demand for Line 4.

This is expected to reduce both traffic and the number of accidents, while contributing significantly to the environment and to reducing health problems related to air and noise pollution. With the conclusion of works, MetrôRio, the concessionaire responsible for operating lines 1 and 2, also took over the operations of Line 4, enabling passengers to travel from Pavuna to Barra on a single ticket.  

Largest urban infrastructure project in Latin America

Executed by Concessionária Rio Barra, which includes Construtura Norberto Odebrecht, subway Line 4 is the largest urban infrastructure project in Latin America in recent years. It was built in six years, which is within the global average considering the high level of technical complexity involved and complies with the most rigorous international standards for building and operating subway systems around the world. The project used cutting-edge Brazilian and foreign technology to cross through densely populated neighborhoods with less impact to both the surface and the people living in the surroundings.

Around 340 companies and more than 200 Brazilian and foreign specialists and consultants were involved in the project. Over the six years of construction, the sites underwent external audits and the construction works received the ISO 9001 certificate for quality management.

The total project cost is R$9.7 billion, of which R$8.5 billion is financed by the State Government and the balance is funded by Concessionária Rio Barra. The investment is within the global average for subway construction projects in large urban centers and cities, according to a study by BNDES, one of the project sponsors.

Social and economic impact during construction

Since 2010, when construction began, around 30,000 jobs were created and a sum of R$3 billion was paid as wages to professionals who came from 23 of the 26 Brazilian states and the Federal District. Another R$ 3 billion was paid in the form of municipal, state and federal taxes (31% of the project value), which should be invested by the governments in better amenities for the population.

Throughout project execution, Concessionária Rio Barra made efforts to provide an environment that encouraged training and professional development. This way, the staff would be better prepared to apply for other vacancies in the market once construction was completed. The concessionaire offered training, development and vocational programs, as well as English language, IT and literacy courses. Approximately 15% of the employees who joined the project as assistants/attendants left as professional bricklayers, carpenters, firefighters and builders.


Quantity of material excavated: 2,840,026 m³ ≈ 1,136 Olympic swimming pools

Quantity of concrete used: 665,346 m³ ≈ 8 Maracanã stadiums

Quantity of explosives used: 1,640,400 tons ≈ 152 New Year’s Eve fireworks at Copacabana

Water treatment stations: Around 220 million liters of water were treated and reused, which would supply almost 20,000 houses for a month.