“The Municipal Council of Cascais will be doubling the availability of buses in the municipality, offering more bus routes and more frequent scheduling”, announced Rui Rei, president of Cascais Próxima, the local public company responsible for the municipal services and infrastructures.
This measure is part of the strategy, set out by the municipal council governed by Carlos Carreiras, to improve mobility in the municipality, making it environmentally more sustainable and allowing a better traffic flow.
The idea is to give greater encouragement to the use of public transportation, whether it be the train, the bus or even the bicycle or riding scooter, explained Rui Rei. At issue is the increase of the existing eleven bus routes in the municipality.
This investment effort will take place over the coming months, since by 2020 Cascais intends to be in compliance with the European directive on municipal and intermunicipal transport management, which grants local authorities full autonomy in the matter. The applying firms are private transportation companies but, instead of being awarded a service concession, they will be mere service providers, with the ticketing management being centralised in the local authorities through a sole solution for the whole municipality.
Two travel passes and new fare prices
The creation of two distinct travel passes, a metropolitan and a municipal one, with new fare prices constitutes the core element of Cascais’ municipal mobility strategy. The new measure was announced on the 7th of the present month during the launching ceremony of the Portugal Mobi Summit, and it will allow municipal residents to ride on the train to Lisbon and use all metropolitan public transport modes for a 40-euro fare, with additional parking options.
On the other hand, the municipal travel pass, which covers bus and bicycle rides, as well as four hours of carsharing, will cost a 30-euro fare and will be available as early as the 26th of March.
“This is a substantial improvement, especially if we take into account the fact that today there are people spending as much as 100 euros per month to go from certain parts of the municipality to Lisbon and circulate inside the capital city”, reminded Cascais Próxima’s CEO.
Another novelty that will be forthcoming shortly is the extension of the scope of the free travel passes, which is presently limited for those under 12, to all youth under 14 years of age, as well as the progress towards total fare exemption for senior citizens.
The offered incentives, both at central and local levels, for the use of public transportation will, presumably, put additional pressure on Cascais’ train line, conceded Rui Rei. “It is a pressure that will occur in a line that is already in urgent need of investment. It should be very important, therefore, that the government strengthens investment in this line”, noted the executive, who, in so doing, joins the call repeatedly addressed to the government by the mayor of Cascais Municipality.
Cascais’ innovations on the field of urban mobility started in 2016 with the establishment of MobiCascais, the entity responsible for a series of changes, such as fare simplification and the introduction of a single travel pass for buses, costing 20 euros, and having also allowed the combination of train travel with bike riding and parking, all integrated in the same travel pass. That is a kind of modes of transport integration which has earned the town of Cascais its qualification as a smart city.