The first stretch of the new light rail in Rio de Janeiro (VLT Carioca) opens up today. The 28-km system connects the port region with the city's financial district and Santos Dumont Airport, and is scheduled for completion in time for the 2016 Olympics. Arlindo Pereira writes about his sneak preview of the inaugural ride. This blog was first published on Medium.

After three years of construction, Rio de Janeiro’s tram VLT Carioca is finally scheduled to open a first part on this Sunday, June 5th ‘16. A couple of weeks before the opening, I was invited with other fellow social media users to visit their office and go on a first ride before it’s opening. A perfect opportunity for some Mapillary shooting!

Tram Driver’s view on Orla Conde, Rio de Janeiro downtown

The setup was simple: a regular cellphone (Samsung Galaxy S5) and a windshield mount, given for free by Mapillary. Just mounted the cellphone on the tram windshield, opened the app, and tapped the red square button “Record”. What really counted was VLT Carioca team: I told them the idea on twitter a couple of days before the visit and they bought it, allowing me to mount the cellphone in the tram’s front window and ride both ways with the tram conductor. It wouldn’t be possible to get this image quality without their cooperation.

Treeline on Avenida Beira Mar, Rio de Janeiro downtown

I also did mount a side phone, but the angle was not good. I’ll redo the sequence after the tram is opened to public service.

Tram arriving on Santos Dumont Airport stop, Rio de Janeiro downtown

More than a great case for Mapillary and free imagery sharing (all images are in Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License CC BY-SA 4.0), it was also a first step in recording images in cooperation with public transport agencies. Make a virtual visit to Rio de Janeiro new tram system VLT Carioca on Mapillary on the following link: http://www.mapillary.com/map/im/wDms84lZydLZR4LABApXRw/photo

A special thanks for Amanda of VLT Carioca’s communications for allowing this visit, and the Mapillary guys for the further adjustments. :)

If you'd like to showcase public instructure in your city, you can use Mapillary to capture photos of new and in-progress development projects. Share your photos and tell us all about it!

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