Implementing sustainable mobility
The Bus and Bike programme is the cornerstone of the city’s concept for sustainable mobility. It gives cyclists the opportunity to put their bike on racks installed on local public transport buses on three lines that cross through the city and link steep parts to flat areas.
The main objectives of the measure are to:
>> Integrate bicycle travel and buses, and thereby promote sustainable mobility options;
>> Nurture a friendlier and healthier urban environment;
>> Tackle the misconception that the bike is not a well-suited travel mode for everyday life; and
>> Decrease the intensity of private transport to make it more attractive to tourists and locals.
Funchal’s west and central seaside area is flat and well suited for cycling, while the hilly parts of the city make many people reluctant to get on their bike. However, a growing number of cycling tourists has inspired many locals to use their bikes for more than leisure activities.
How is the measure progressing
During the preparation phase of the measure, the city was able to secure the patronage of local stakeholders including sports associations and cycling-related companies. Together with these partners, the city has defined guidelines to regulate the Bus and Bike service. During this initial phase, a feasibility study was carried out, as well, which collected and assessed different ideas for the routes that the service should cover, and the equipment best suited for the local needs.
The Bus and Bike service was launched during the European Mobility Week in September 2010. The public transport operator deployed 14 bike racks on the back of buses. New bus lanes were designed that allow for the loading and unloading of bikes without disturbing the traffic flow. There is no additional fee to the regular public transport ticket for using the bicycle service. The pilot has provided the municipality with valuable insights into the required equipment and how such a service is received by citizens.
The municipality and its partners are now looking into activities that can boost the pilot test. They are currently assessing the best areas where the measure might be scaled up and scan marketing approaches to better target citizens to use the service. Additionally, the partners are seeking to build a network of hilly cities that share the goal to promote cycling to transfer knowledge and foster mutual learning.
What are the expected results of the measure
Funchal expects that the Bus and Bike service will result in:
>> Increased local use of the bicycle;
>> An improved image of the public transport service;
>> Improved satisfaction with the quality of life in the city among citizens and tourists; and
>> At least 1,000 bicycles transported by the Bus and Bike service a year.
Contact: André Freitas