World Cup: Rio to launch controversial bus fare hikes next week

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RIO DE JANEIRO (AFP) – Controversial bus fare hikes which sparked last June’s mass protests across Brazil are to go into effect in Rio next month, local authorities said.

The increases under a decree signed by Rio Mayor Eduardo Paes are to be officially announced Thursday.

City bus fares are to rise from 2.75 to three reais (1.14 to 1.2 dollars) from February 8, according to press reports.

Early this month, the Rio state government raised fares for intercity buses.

Last June, hundreds of thousands of Brazilians took to the streets to protest higher mass transit fares.

The protests mushroomed into nationwide anger over the high cost of staging the 2014 World Cup, inadequate public health and education services, and rampant political corruption.

They coincided with the Confederations Cup tournament, a dry run for the World Cup which was held in six host cities.

Authorities are bracing for more street protests in the run-up to the World Cup, which will be held in 12 Brazilian cities from June 12 to July 13.

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