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Commuting chaos for middle class in Sao Paulo

by Michael Robinson Chavez, Los Angeles Times

Sao Paulo, one of the world’s largest cities and Brazil’s financial hub, is a concrete sea of 20-story skyscrapers that stretch for miles in every direction from the city center. The city is notorious for a lack of green space, astounding wealth and desperate poverty. It is also the epicenter of Brazil’s growing middle class. New jobs means more spending power, which equates to more cars on the city’s woefully inadequate infrastructure. Hundred-mile-long traffic jams are not uncommon, and commutes on buses and trains can exceed two to three hours, one way. What the city can do to reverse the worsening congestion is still open to debate. Many residents feel the city is headed for complete paralysis, through gridlock, in the very near future.

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