The conditions of infrastructure in Brazil are extremely varying, often depending on the location. Some roads and public transport are receiving frequent maintenance, while others have been left in a much worse state. There have however been clear incentives to improve infrastructure in Brazil, as the country has been hosting large sporting events attracting many travelers.
Major highways receive frequent maintenance in Brazil, but smaller roads are often in poor condition, leading to a high risk of road traffic accidents. The poor state of some roads combined with a widespread disregard for traffic rules means that the number of traffic accidents is very high; it is estimated that over 40,000 people die each year in traffic in Brazil, making it the leading cause of death in the country. If you decide to drive in Brazil, be vigilant.
With this in mind, it is important to monitor information regarding road traffic and follow the proper road signs. Some roads may not be accessible or should be avoided due to dangerous conditions.
Public transport in Rio de Janeiro has varying degrees of effectiveness and safety. You should avoid taking the bus after dark, it is often safer to take a taxi and avoid walking alone on empty streets. It is however recommended that you don’t grab a taxi of the streets, especially at night. You should instead call and order a taxi from a certified and known taxi company. Read more about different public transport options in Rio de Janeiro under Getting around Rio.
Public transport may be disrupted during periods of social unrest in cities. In recent waves of protests, gatherings have occurred at metro stations, bus terminals, and on roads, specifically aiming to disrupt local travel. The traffic in Rio de Janeiro is already troubled by overcrowded roads and congestion. Keep this in mind if you notice any protests, and consider possible disruption in your time-plan when traveling. .
Major public transportation investments were conducted in preparation for the the 2014 World Cup, and additional resources have been put into improving trains and busses before the Olympic Games.
Authorities have guaranteed that all Olympic infrastructure will be ready before the Games start, including the much-delayed metro line. However, concerns have been raised whether this promise can be kept. Many venues remain under construction. The state of Rio de Janeiro has struggled with financing, and have missed debt payments. Salary payments to the public sector have also been delayed.
Doubts have also been expressed over the safety of infrastructure projects built around the Games. In the end of April, the newly constructed Tim Maia coastal bike path outside the city collapsed, killing two people. This accident could suggest issues with infrastructure projects, especially considering that Brazil is currently rushing to finish stadium and infrastructure projects. There is a risk that corruption, budget restraints, time pressure and poor management can lead to low quality infrastructure around the Games.
It is estimated that over 40,000 people die each year in traffic in Brazil, making it the leading cause of death in the country.