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São Paulo Mayor Fernando Haddad Battles in Court to Remove Bus Fare Collectors

11/06/2015 - 09h08

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FELIPE SOUZA
FROM SÃO PAULO

São Paulo Mayor Fernando Haddad (Workers' Party) battles in court to strike down the requirement to keep fare collectors working on São Paulo buses.

The municipality intends to remove these workers gradually, saving more than US$ 264.5 million (R$ 1 billion) annually.

The dispute is between the municipality and the Union of Drivers and Fare Collectors. The hearing date has not been scheduled yet.

The clash began in 2014, during the last session of the Municipal Council when the Mayor's allies, in a political manoeuvre, used a draft bill regarding the instalment of property and services tax debts to strike down the requirement to keep fare collectors on buses.

The Union went to court and in May it obtained a preliminary injunction that requires the presence of the professional.

Haddad appealed four times against the decision in favour of the Union without success.

Nowadays, the expenses with fare collectors represent US$ 0.15 (R$ 0.60) of the US$ 0.93 (R$ 3.50) fare, totalling US$ 317.4 million (R$ 1.2 billion) per year or 17% of the cost, according to SPUrbanuss (Union of Bus Companies).

Haddad says that "more than 90% of tickets are purchased through Bilhete Único, which doesn't require the intervention of a fare collector".

Without this expense, the city could cut at least half of the growing subsidies currently at US$ 523 million (R$ 2 billion) a year. The amount is transferred to the bus companies to cover the difference between the cost and the amount paid by users.

The Union of Drivers and Fare Collectors says the companies have 18,000 workers.

Secretary of Transportation Jilmar Tatto believes the fare collectors should be removed gradually, without layoffs. "To sum up, there is no need to keep fare collectors. We could just not replace the employees," he says.

 p(tagline). Translated by JULIANA CALDERARI

Read the article in the original language

Marlene Bergamo/Folhapress
The municipality intends to remove bus fare collectors gradually, saving more than US$ 264.5 million annually
The municipality intends to remove bus fare collectors gradually, saving more than US$ 264.5 million annually

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