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Funchal (Madeira, Portugal) launches new dial and ride bus service for older passengers

Passengers in Funchal
Passengers were very glad about the new service.
Photo credit: Mirjam Logonder

[November 2010] Dial and Ride services are typically used in many regions in Europe as a demand response service for populations within geographically dispersed areas. Funchal (capital of the island of Madeira) believes this kind of service also plays a role in increasing accessibility within very densely populated areas where narrow roads are typically characteristic. This can help reduce social exclusion for those who either live or work in the target areas of this CIVITAS-MIMOSA measure.

The catchment area is Santa Luzia, where standard public transport buses cannot reach because of the narrow streets. Here the public transport demand is low and clients are mainly elderly people with reduced mobility capacity. Most people in the area are retired, but that does not mean that they’re no longer physically active. They depend on public transport for leisure and health, which contributed to their social inclusion.

This new service tests for the first time a Dial and Ride service on an island. The CIVITAS MIMOSA measure gives the public transport operator the chance to evaluate, on this specific urban field, the benefits and the risks linked with this new service, i.e. testing a new transport system which could be extended, in the future, to other parts of the island with low population density.

Two new mini-busses with less polluting characteristics provide the service, and were specifically equipped by Horários do Funchal and co-financed by the Regional Development Fund Program (ERDF). The less polluting technology was carefully studied in order to choose the most suitable solution for the topography, city area, users and, most of all, the kind of service.

Source: CIVITAS Initiative
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