Implementing sustainable mobility
Energy is one of the defining issues of our time. There is an increased awareness that the energy sources we rely on are scarce and have to be managed. The negative impacts of transport on the environment are a key part of this issue. In this context, the city of Funchal wants to stimulate local markets to switch to green technologies and sustainable solutions. The city will lead by example with an integrated strategy to renew the public and private transport fleets and increase the use of alternative fuels and environmental-friendly technologies.
The main objectives of this measure are to:
>> Spread knowledge of greener vehicles throughout the local market; and
>> Bring new technologies and their environmental and energy-saving benefits to the public’s attention.
The rugged and steep topography of Funchal is demanding on the engines of buses, which results in soaring fuel consumption and high levels of pollutant and noise emissions. Alternative fuels and energy-efficient vehicles have not been common in Funchal except for a few private vehicles that run on liquefied petroleum-gas (LPG) and electric vehicles that are used on golf courses. However, in 2006, the public transport operator opened a new urban line in the city centre that is run with electric vehicles. This has raised public awareness of sustainable mobility. It also improved energy efficiency and the quality of the environment in the city centre. Funchal wants to build on this initiative and expand the renewal of the public transport fleet. The city does not just see this as a crucial step towards sustainable mobility but also as an initiative that will help Portugal to achieve its emission reduction targets under the framework of the Kyoto Protocol.
How is the measure progressing
Funchal has successfully completed the procurement of 18 midi-buses that will help revamp the public transport fleet to at least Euro 5 standard. These smaller buses complement the current public transport fleet well as they can replace regular buses in areas where demand is low and during off-peak hours. This is the first time that the public transport service can be adapted to specific demand patterns. An evaluation of the environmental, economic and social impacts will be carried out once the fleet has been deployed, as well as an assessment of the energy footprint. This will provide Funchal with a better understanding of the measure’s contribution to enhanced sustainability and a higher quality of life.
Another major cornerstone of the measure will be the purchase of new hybrid cars for the public transport operator and the municipal fleet. These cars are meant to demonstrate the benefits of clean technology and advertise sustainable mobility. Moreover, the measure will be used as a basis for two strategic studies. The first one aims to define the best long-term strategy for a more sustainable public transport fleet. The second one looks at the overhead costs the public transport provider would encounter in the outermost regions of the city. Both studies will be used by local practitioners and politicians to guide decision-making processes.
What are the expected results of the measure
Funchal expects from this measure:
>> A reduction in energy consumption of 5 - 8 percent;
>> A reduction in CO₂, NOx, PM and COV emissions of new vehicles in the range of 2 – 8 percent;
>> An improvement of at least 1.5 percent in the annual data on air quality;
>> A reduction of maintenance costs;
>> An increase in the regional purchase of electric and hybrid vehicles;
>> An improved green image of the participating institutional companies; and
>> Increased public awareness of the advantages of green technologies.
Contact: Andreia Quintal