State of São Paulo to grant new 30-year ferry concession

State of São Paulo to grant new 30-year ferry concession

Governo Do Estado de Sao Paulo

The new operator will have full control over the state’s ferry system

The Government of São Paulo is to grant a new 30-year ferry concession for a private operator to manage the Brazilian state’s ferry system. Plans for the new concession were announced by the government and advisory body FGV Projetos/Europe at the 45th Annual Interferry conference in Santander, Spain. 

Currently, the Government of São Paulo is responsible for the system, which contracts a private company to handle crossings for a period of five years. Revenues from ticket sales go to the government’s cashier, which pays the private operating company. 

However, the new 30-year contract will grant the operator full control over the ferry system, with the revenue from ticket sales going to them. The new operator will also be able to collect revenues from parallel services using the system’s infrastructure, for example by renting workshops to interested parties or facilities for tourism purposes, if this does not affect the operation of the main crossing system. 

The investment forecast during the concession period is $49.5 million, comprising of $21.3 million for the improvement of the existing infrastructure, $26 million for investment in and improvements to vessels, and $2.2 million for environmental enhancements. 

The ferry system consists of eight coastal crossings divided into three areas. In the Central Coast area, there are three services in the region of Santos, one of the biggest cities in the State of São Paulo. Most passengers on these crossings are commuters travelling around the Port of Santos, and the two crossings in the Canal of Santos are responsible for 63 per cent of the ferry system revenues. 

There is one crossing in the North Coast area, from São Sebastião to Ilha Bela. This service largely carries tourists, as Ilha Bela is one of the most visited tourist spots on the coast of São Paulo. The only source of access to the island is through the crossing, which is solely responsible for 30 per cent of the ferry system revenues. 

Finally, the South Coast area includes four crossings. The services provided in the southern region of the State of São Paulo are essential for the region’s low-income populations and local communities, including indigenous peoples.

Share this story

Alex Smith
By Alex Smith
19 October 2021

Theme picker