Bus Rapid Transit System tender launched to link Boavista to Foz in 2023

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The Bus Rapid Transit System will add eight kilometres of green mobility to the city of Porto, as of the last quarter of 2023: this will be the new BRT Line. This new extension of the Metro do Porto, whose international tender was launched today, at the Serralves Park, by the Prime Minister, António Costa, will link the roundabouts of the Boavista and the Praça do Império, in an investment of 66 million euros, financed by the Resilience and Recovery Plan (PRR).

The Mayor of Porto, Rui Moreira, attended the ceremony and affirmed that the line will link Foz to the centre of the city, in connection with other intended lines, “it is not the 'pre-metro', it is more than that. It is looking at the city and realising that, in its intermodality, it needs to have the most suitable solutions”. Rui Moreira believes that the BRT Line “will represent significant gains of metropolitan attractiveness, as it will promote the expansion of the metro network in a highly dense territorial space, and covering a population that can reach as much as 600 thousand inhabitants.”

Rui Moreira enhanced that “the Metro do Porto network forms a transportation infrastructure that generates a high standard internal pattern of mobility, leading in terms of capacity and structuring of the high capacity channels, and it is up to the municipalities to focus on new additional systems, in order to effectively serve their populations”, and provided the example of the inter municipal management of STCP.

Recalling the investment on soft mobility modes, Mayor Rui Moreira affirmed the Municipality of Porto’s continued bet on “the creation and establishment of a network of "corridors" of High Quality Bus service”. “We are trying to change habits and if people will no longer ride public transport we will not be able to solve this equation”, Rui Moreira added.

The Mayor of Porto also highlighted that this link Boavista-Império corresponds to “a political challenge by the Municipality of Porto as an alternative to the Campo Alegre axis, whose construction in a BRT regime, would represent a profound alteration of its surroundings.

In that same regard, the President of the Metro do Porto enhanced the fact that this solution is “less invasive, more adaptable to the context and one that respects the space perceptions”, namely the traffic flow at the Avenida da Boavista, but also as regards the environmental issue, with the maintenance of the central corridor of the Marechal Gomes da Costa and the vegetation”.

The President of the Metro do Porto, Tiago Braga, also highlighted that “this model is not the poor relation of the light rail” and, benefiting of a mode that offers good service, as regards “reliability, frequency and compliance with schedules, this will be another opportunity to affirm the city and the Porto Metropolitan Area as a development pole with the most disruptive technologies and transport solutions, looking at a low carbon, inclusive, diversified and efficient region”.

From Boavista to Foz in 15 minutes, 4.400 people per hour

The BRT is an urban rapid transit system, which runs in a segregated busway. It is operated by articulated hydrogen-driven vehicles, of low floor buses, with a capacity for 180 to 220 passengers. The regular operation fleet includes six vehicles and it is estimated that 4.400 passengers can use this means of transport each hour and in both directions.

Developed throughout the Avenues of Boavista and Marechal Gomes da Costa, the line Boavista-Império will run each five minutes, enabling to reach Foz in 15 minutes time. It is estimated that over 31 thousand people will use this more sustainable solution, on a daily basis: eight kilometres (four in each direction) with stops at the Casa da Música, Bom Sucesso, Guerra Junqueiro, Bessa, Pinheiro Manso, Serralves, João de Barros and Império. The stations of Avenida Marechal Gomes da Costa will be designed by architect Álvaro Siza. The link between the two avenues will give way to a roundabout, interiorly shaped by the BRT.

The investment of the metro bus endeavour represents 45 million euros, plus the support equipment, and the supply of the vehicles, whose public tender will be launched during October next. In total, the PRR will fund 66 million euros regarding the new link Boavista-Império. With the start of the works estimated to happen in May 2022, this new sustainable mobility will be operating in the last quarter of 2023.

Life changing investments

With a message focused on the importance of finding solutions to fight climate change, as well as in the post pandemic recovery and the implementation of the PPR, the Prime Minister assured that “if we really want to recover economy today, if we really want to fight unemployment today, we have to do it by investing in what changes our life, our country, our region, what changes the city in the next decades”.

António Costa also referred that the investment in this BRT Line “is one of those investments that will make that change, adding to boost today’s economy, but especially for us to have a more decarbonised and sustainable future”.

Representing the Minister of Environment and Climate Action, João Pedro Matos Fernandes, the State Secretary for Mobility highlighted that the “example given by Porto City Hall and by Metro do Porto is something that should be adopted” as regards the full respect by the public space, the meeting of the carbonic goals and of project that “truly serve the population”. Eduardo Pinheiro believes that “other cities will adopt the BRT”.

In March, during a ceremony in the Gardens of the Palácio de Cristal, the green light had been given for the start of the works of the Pink Line and the expansion of the yellow Line. On that occasion, the Chairman of the Board of Directors of Metro do Porto affirmed that the Pink Line will enable to remove, per year, “four thousand tons comparable to CO2, 21 thousand private cars and circa one thousand lorries”, besides “untangling the most congested areas of the city of Porto: Júlio Dinis - Santo António – Aliados”.