The venue for the Opening Match of the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil™, the Arena de Sao Paulo is not short of public transport solutions, with two metro stations and a train station serving the stadium, making it easily accessible for fans.
Sao Paulo as a whole is devoting every energy to public transport. The city is drawing on the initiatives put in place at other major events staged in the country, such as the Brazilian Grand Prix and Rock in Rio, and will be prohibiting the use of cars and obliging fans attending games at Brazil 2014 to use the bus, metro and train services to get around.
Itaquera train station, which links up with the metro, will be the last stop on the line for the Expresso da Copa, an express train service that will complete the journey between the city centre and the outlying suburb in just 20 minutes. Fans using the metro, which is the better option for those travelling from the area west of the stadium, will arrive at Artur Alvim station, a mere 800 metres from the Arena de Sao Paulo.
“The aim is to split the fans into different groups and avoid bottlenecks forming at a single point of arrival,” said Raquel Verdenacci, the Executive Coordinator on the Sao Paulo Organising Committee.
Visitors to the new-look Itaquera station have been very impressed by the services and amenities it now offers, which will be upgraded further in the build-up to 2014. As well as being expanded, the station boasts several fast-food outlets, cashpoints and a shopping mall, all designed to guarantee the comfort of fans supporting their teams at the world finals.
According to official figures, the metro and train stations have the capacity to handle 100,000 passengers an hour, having been equipped with large footbridges, which measure up to 11 metres wide in the case of Itaquera station. Each metro train can carry 1,600 passengers and by 2014 they will be running every 85 seconds, making it one of the most frequent services in the world. The trains have already been purchased and will be operating in 2013.
The Sao Paulo metro system currently comprises 64 stations and five lines, which extend over a distance of 74 kilometres in all.
Like the world’s largest and most modern stadiums, the Arena de Sao Paulo will be served by car parks set aside for hospitality guests and service personnel. A large taxi rank, with capacity for 150 vehicles, will also be created across from the train stations.
Most of the games to be held at the stadium will kick off in the afternoon, between 13.00 and 17.00 (Brasilia time), which will mean less congestion for fans using the city’s public transport system to get to matches, as they will be travelling against the usual commuter flows. And by the time games end in the early evening, passenger numbers will have dropped considerably in the area, with most local people having already made the journey home from the city centre.
There should be even fewer transport problems when the city hosts the second semi-final on 9 July, which is a local public holiday commemorating the Constitutional Revolution of 1932.
The significant investment in the public transport system serving Itaquera will benefit not just visiting fans but the four million people who live in east Sao Paulo, who will be able to make use of it long after the world finals are over.