In 2018, São Paulo’s City Hall readjusted the values payed to the 12 private consortiums that run the municipal bus system. We digged through the numbers and found that 5 of those organizations would get a larger raise than the others, despite being used by less users and having worse quality assessment ratings. One of the companies involved has known connections with the former speaker of the City Council.
What makes this project innovative?
The unique aspect to the investigation is that we used public data to show strong evidences of wrongdoing by a government body. By crunching numbers, we were able to develop an investigation that was largely independent of human sources and leaks. This gives more strength to the report, since we are showing in a objective way how the readjustments are, at least, suspicious.
What was the impact of your project? How did you measure it?
We used data to find and display evidence of private companies being favoured by the government. The story exposes how some organizations earned an above average pay raise without apparent reason.
Source and methodology
The monthly data about transported passengers, tariff per passenger carried and total remuneration of the companies was obtained from the public data portal of SPTrans, the city’s transit authority. For information such as fleet size and miles traveled by the buses, we compared the SPTrans most recent operating reports published in November 2018, and reports from the same month in 2017. The aggregated tables per month and per semester can be found in our public repository on GitHub (see aditional links).
Bruno Ribeiro - data and story writing Ariel Tonglet - data, story writing and infographics Anna Carolina Papp - data