When it first opened, in March 1979, Rio’s subway system had 2.67 miles of trails linking five different locations in downtown Rio. In the first ten days of operation, its trains carried more than half a million people, with an average of 60,000 passengers per day. One of the first stations in operation, the busiest stop at the time was Cinelândia—the others were Praça Quinze, Central and Presidente Vargas.
Soon the system started an expansion movement, with news stations opening throughout the following years—between 1980 and 1998, the design of Lines 1 and then 2 grew to accommodate all the new stations, with the inclusion of stops in Uruguaiana, Estácio, Carioca, Catete, Morro Azul (Flamengo), Botafogo, São Cristóvão, Maracanã, Largo do Machado, Afonso Pena, São Francisco Xavier, Saens Peña, Irajá, Maria da Graça, Del Castilho (Nova América/Del Castilho), Inhaúma, Triagem, Engenho da Rainha, Thomaz Coelho,Vicente de Carvalho, Coelho Neto, Colégio, Engenheiro Rubens Paiva, Acari/Fazenda Botafogo and Inhaúma.
In 1998, Copacabana, one of Rio’s most famous and traditional neighborhoods, also got its first subway stop, with the opening of the Cardeal Arcoverde station.
Just the year before, the Opportrans Consortium was granted the right by the Rio Stock Exchange to exploit the city’s subway system for the next 20 years, taking over, in April 1998, the control of metro’s public transportation service.
Since then, a series of improvement measures has been implemented, as well as the addition of new stations to the system. Belonging to Grupo Invepar since 2009 and with 35 stations in operation, MetrôRio continues to work day and night to offer its clients the best possible transportation service to travel across Rio.