SAO PAULO – Leaders in Brazil’s two biggest cities said Wednesday that they reversed an increase in bus and subway fares that ignited anti-government protests that have spread across the nation in the past week.
Many people doubted the move would quiet the demonstrations, which have moved well beyond outrage over the fare hikes into communal cries against poor public services in Latin America’s biggest nation.
“It’s not really about the price anymore,” said Camila Sena, an 18-year-old university student at a protest in Niteroi. “People are so disgusted with the system, so fed up that now we’re demanding change.”
At a press conference to announce the reversal of the public transport fare hike, Sao Paulo Mayor Fernando Haddad said it “will represent a big sacrifice and we will have to reduce investments in other areas.” He didn’t give details on where other cuts would occur.
Rio de Janeiro Mayor Eduardo Paes also confirmed that the fare increase would be rescinded in that city.