The regulation of public transport in the Metropolitan Region of Curitiba is on the list of priorities listed by the Regulatory Agency for Delegated Public Services of Paraná (Agepar) for the year 2024. The launch of the bidding notice for the service by the Paraná Metropolitan Affairs Agency (Amep) must end an imbroglio that has persisted in the system for years. However, another point that has been repeatedly questioned must remain unchanged: the allocation of subsidies from the state government to public transport in other metropolitan regions of Paraná.
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The public transport system in the Metropolitan Region of Curitiba is the only one in Paraná to receive these subsidies from the state government. A bill filed in October 2019 at Legislative Assembly of Paraná (Alep) proposes granting the benefit to other metropolitan regions in Paraná. To this end, some criteria must be respected, such as the creation of an Urban Mobility Plan, as well as the installation of a Municipal Public Transport Council.
More than four years have passed since the beginning of the process and there has been no progress on the project in the state Legislature. In addition to some back and forth to the Alep Constitution and Justice Commission, there was only the inclusion of other deputies as co-authors of the proposal.
In an interview with People’s Gazette, state deputy Goura (PDT) – one of the authors of the text – points out that the lack of movement on the project is due to the lack of political support for the subject. He said that he invited parliamentarians with electoral bases in municipalities located in metropolitan regions to support the proposal, but stated that there is no interest on the part of the state government in extending the granting of the subsidy to other metropolitan regions besides Curitiba.
“We want to resume this agenda at the beginning of the legislative year, in line with this discussion that is taking shape at the national level, which is zero tariffs. To do this, we need the support of various entities to achieve economic and financial engineering that can reduce or eliminate transport fares. And the state government needs to work on the subsidy with equality, because it is the money of all Paraná residents that is being invested only in the Metropolitan Region of Curitiba, and that makes no sense”, defended Goura.
Subsidies for metropolitan public transport ranged between R$32 million and R$60 million
State subsidy amounts have varied over recent years. In 2019, the state government contributed R$40 million to help pay for the metropolitan public transport system. In 2020, the first year of the Covid-19 pandemic, there was no formalization of an agreement as had been done previously. Even so, a state law guaranteed the transfer of R$32,758,009.46 to the system.
In 2021, the agreement model between the government of Paraná and the city of Curitiba was once again applied. The value of the subsidy returned to the same level as in 2019, with the state directing R$40 million towards funding the system. In 2022, the contribution of R$60 million was one of the largest since the state subsidy was created, in 2012 – that year, the state transferred R$64 million to Curitiba’s metropolitan public transport.
For 2023, the transfer was lower, at R$35,659,679.72, falling between the levels observed during the pandemic. Wanted by People’s Gazette, the Civil House of the Government of Paraná explained that the values of the agreement for the year 2024 have not yet been defined. “The negotiations will begin in February”, explained the organization, in a note.
Lack of budget forecast and Fiscal Responsibility Law would be in the way of extending the subsidy, says Casa Civil
On the same note, the Civil House does not rule out the possibility that the subsidy model granted to the public transport system in the Metropolitan Region of Curitiba will be replicated in other regions of Paraná. “For this purpose, the State Government contracted through the Secretariat of Cities the Integrated Development Plan for these regions, which will delve deeper into the topic”, points out the body, without giving a predicted date for the conclusion of the studies and the presentation of the results of this flat.
Furthermore, highlights the Civil House, there is no budgetary provision to cover the granting of subsidies other than that applied in the capital. “The Fiscal Responsibility Law determines that for any subsidy incentive or revenue waiver, the State must present a project that demonstrates compensatory measures, which in this case need to be articulated between the public and private spheres involved”, concludes the note.
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