September 1, 2006
One Tuesday in August, Paulistas woke up and let out a collective groan. Their fears for the day were well grounded, as a planned subway strike would soon lead to crippling jams throughout the city. At its worst, the congestion caused tailbacks for 180 kilometers. Perhaps the only beneficiaries were the local media, which covered the strike in painstaking detail.
The São Paulo metro workers' union had called the action to protest the state government's closed-door decision to pick a private sector consortium for the construction of a new metro line. The government was using a technique that is as yet untested in the country, a public-private partnership (PPP). The strike and its abilit
Getting the private sector involved in Brazil's attempts to update rusty infrastructure has proven trickier than anticipated.