São Paulo: ongoing demonstrations against transit fare hikes

São Paulo February 6 2015

Statement of the Brazilian Workers’ Confederation (COB, a section of the IWA-AIT) opposing the raising of public transit bus fares.

A bus fare of R$3.49 – this is robbery!

The increased fare for public transit will now exceed 39% of the pay of workers earning the national minimum wage, working 44 hours per week, and forced to spend part of their wages on public transport (two trips per day). In financial terms, such expenses shouldn’t exceed 30% of income. And what about the other needs of workers (food, water, electricity, housing, rent, etc.)?

After June 2013, the cost of a trip rose 50 centavos from R$2.45 to $R2.95 (an increase of 20.4%), which represented 39.11% of a worker’s income.

In 2015, with an increase in the minimum wage by 8.8%, the fare for a trip was increased from $R2.95 to $R3.49, an increase of 18% – out of whack with a worker’s earnings.

Regardless of the details of these calculations, a new increase in fares is not justified if only because the previous tariff already exceeded 30% of a worker’s income. With inflation at 6.5% this is a real rip-off!

At the same time, there has been no improvement in the equipment and travel conditions of the buses either with regard to their capacity or the frequency of service.

By this increase the municipal authorities are simply ensuring maximum profitability for the entrepreneurs, at the sacrifice of human labour.

We asking for everyone to energetically take up this cause. This fight should become a struggle of social forces involving the entire spectrum of workers, students and the community – without parties and bosses!

Brazilian Workers’ Confederation – International Workers’ Association

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The seventh large action against raising fares in São Paulo took place on February 6 2015 and ended at 21:30 with the symbolic burning of a turnstile, which protestors had carried along the entire route of the march to the train station at Dom Pedro Park, in the central part of the city.

The march route had been decided on during an assembly held in front of the city hall. The march began at 19:20. Participants marched through the Largo de São Francisco to Dom Pedro Park. According to military police reports, members of the “Black Bloc” were observed among the demonstrators. However, the march was peaceful and no incidents were reported.

The increase from $R2.95 to $R3.49 came into effect on January 6 2015. “Now is the time to lower the boom” was written on banners of the Movement for a Free Ride, which has put pressure on the prefecture [city hall] and the government with the goal of obtaining free public transit for everyone.

Previously a major action took place on January 29 at the residence of the prefect [mayor] Fernando Haddad in Paraíso, along with the occupation of all intersections along 23rd of May Avenue in the direction of Congonhas Airport. Demonstrators marched towards the Legislative Assembly of the State of São Paulo and ended up at the [nearby] Monument to the Bandeiras. The police reported incidents of graffiti and arrested two demonstrators with spray paint (http://exame.abril.com.br/brasil/noticias/manifestacao-em-sp-contra-aumento-de-tarifa-termina-pacifica)

Thanks to aitrus.info for providing this information.