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PRESS RELEASEApril 12, 2024

World Bank invests in sustainable transport in the state of Santa Catarina, Brazil

Better transport options and infrastructure will benefit approximately 592,000 people

WASHINGTON, April 12th, 2024 — The World Bank Board of Directors approved today a new investment to upgrade transportation systems in the state of Santa Catarina in Brazil, developing an integrated transit and mobility network in 11 municipalities to connect underserved communities with more jobs, public services, and other opportunities. Approximately 592,000 people will benefit from improved sustainable transportation options.

The Foz do Rio Itajaí Region Integrated Sustainable Mobility Project (PROMOBIS) targets the municipalities of Balneário Camboriú, Balneário Piçarras, Bombinhas, Camboriú, Ilhota, Itajaí, Itapema, Luiz Alves, Navegantes, Penha, and Porto Belo, which make up the Association of Municipalities of the Foz do Rio Itajaí Region (AMFRI).

At present, the region lacks an integrated public transportation network connecting the population across municipalities. Residents predominantly depend on private motor vehicles for commuting to school, work, and other destinations. This fast motorization growth rate has been exacerbating GHG emissions.

To address these gaps, the project will develop the region's first Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system, that will operate exclusively with electric buses, helping to implement AMFRI’s regional mobility plan. The project will also invest in road safety measures and in the construction and maintenance of cycleways, bike paths, and pedestrian facilities. These enhancements will be situated along the new BRT to improve accessibility and connectivity for low-income communities. These are particularly significant for with lower income populations, as well as women, young people, refugees, migrants, and individuals with mobility challenges, who often depend more heavily on public transit, bike lanes, and walkways for reaching employment and vital services.

The project will also establish a BRT control center to support integrated disaster management and emergency response. In all stages, the project emphasizes building infrastructure that can mitigate and withstand the impacts of climate change, lowering emissions, and enhancing air quality by encouraging a shift from private to public transport.

Within this project, the World Bank is also undertaking studies in consideration of building a river tunnel between Navegantes and Itajaí; this tunnel would likely be developed as a public-private partnership (PPP) supported by the municipalities and the State Government.

“PROMOBIS represents, for the Foz do Rio Itajaí Region, a paradigm shift in the standards of intermunicipal mobility. The set of solutions that will be implemented will benefit all citizens of the region indiscriminately, offering more quality of life, greater environmental sustainability, promoting economic development, thus generating new jobs and new entrepreneurship opportunities. We have no doubt that the PROMOBIS will be the initial milestone of a new era of prosperity,” said Erico de Oliveira, Mayor of Ilhota and President of the Multifunctional Intermunicipal Consortium of the AMFRI Region (CIM-AMFRI).

“This is the first World Bank project in Brazil in collaboration with a consortium of municipalities, signifying a new approach to providing our clients with financial support and expertise. Upgrading urban mobility in the Foz do Rio Itajaí Region will improve the lives of the region's poorest and most vulnerable people, who rely disproportionately on public transit, walking, and cycling to reach their jobs, schools, health clinics and other services,” said Johannes Zutt, World Bank’s Country Director for Brazil.  

The project encompasses a US$90 million loan from the World Bank. The municipalities will contribute an additional US$30 million to the project. Furthermore, the project anticipates attracting US$42 million from private sector investments, with discussions ongoing with the Government of Santa Catarina about potential financial support.

The variable spread loan has a final maturity of 22 years including a grace period of 7 years.







Brasilia, Brazil
World Bank's Communications Team
Washington DC
Yuri Szabo Yamashita


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