Rio De Janeiro: Brazil`s President Luiz
Inacio Lula da Silva has inaugurated a long-awaited subway
station at Rio`s Ipanema beach that links to the neighbourhood
where most of the 2016 Summer Olympics will be held.
After languishing nearly 20 years for lack of funds,
the Ipanema station boosts the city`s two main subway lines
that have also been growing slowly since 1970 and now cover 40
kilometers and carry more than half a million passengers a
Deemed insufficient for a city of 11 million, Rio`s
subway and public transport system is a key concern which the
International Olympic Committee hopes will be resolved before
the 2016 Games are held.
The new, USD 270 million "General Osorio" station was
described as "the biggest urban cave in South America" by its
master builder, Luiz Moreira.
"Fifty years ago, Rio was the picture of desolation
and abandonment," Lula said at the station`s official opening,
as he showed off the gleaming new facility. It will be open to
the public today.
The president then got on the first subway bound for
Maracana station, under the famous soccer stadium, that serves
the southern subway line to the Barra de Tijuca neighborhood,
site of many of the Olympic venues.