48 new 100% electric buses will be put into service immediately. The 'journey towards the future' began this Thursday at the Via Norte Parking Station with the presentation of the new fleet, which is scheduled to receive another 20 vehicles towards the end of this year. Sociedade de Transportes Colectivos do Porto (STCP) will thus see its 100% emission-free fleet increase from the current 20 vehicles to 68, continuing the strategy adopted to decarbonise its commercial operation and, consequently, reduce its environmental footprint.
'The Municipality of Porto sees investment in STCP as an absolute priority of its transport policy', said Mayor Rui Moreira during the presentation of the new buses, recalling that, for ten years now, 'the Municipality's transport policy has promoted smart, integrated, intermodal, inclusive and sustainable mobility in the city'.
Smart mobility, he said, because 'it adopts technological solutions for more efficient traffic, parking and road safety management', integrated because 'it makes different modes of transport compatible, including soft modes', intermodal because 'it establishes, at terminals and interfaces, the connection between the urban transport system and inter-municipal, inter-regional and national transport systems', inclusive because 'it guarantees universal access to public transport, paying special attention to specific groups such as children, young people, the elderly and people with reduced mobility'.
And sustainable mobility because, according to Porto's mayor, 'it protects the environment, favours resource efficiency and contributes to a low-carbon economy'.
'The inter-municipalisation process is succeeding'
Rui Moreira stressed that 'the Municipality of Porto aims to decarbonise 40% of STCP's fleet' by 2030. 'This goal represents a significant step towards the fulfilment of the Porto Climate Pact, which reflects our ambition to make the city carbon neutral by 2030', he added.
The purchase of 48 buses is the first investment to reinforce the fleet, fully realised by STCP's shareholders, within the scope of the agreement signed with the State for the intermunicipalisation of the company, with an associated investment of EUR 19.2 million.
'This shows that the inter-municipalisation process, which ended in January 2021, is in fact being successful and is an example of a virtuous decentralisation of competences', the mayor of Porto stated.
AMP president commends Rui Moreira's actions
'Gone are the days when we had ceremonies to show off an electric bus and that we were moving towards an emblematic goal', the president of the Metropolitan Area of Porto (AMP), Eduardo Vítor Rodrigues, stated, guaranteeing that this new stage in mobility 'is structuring, resulting from partnerships between six municipalities'.
'Many questioned that this wasn't the responsibility of the municipalities. Today it has been clearly demonstrated that when the municipalities want to, those that want to be together can move forward, and this year is particularly important because we will have to take on, or not, the renewal of commitments to maintain this inter-municipal structure [STCP]', the mayor of Vila Nova de Gaia added.
'If many people had doubts about inter-municipalisation, this experience has shown that it makes perfect sense', said Eduardo Vitor Rodrigues, who directly commended the actions of the mayor of Porto: '[Rui Moreira] played a decisive and often even demanding role in this process. Together we have built an irreversible system'.
STCP with 444 buses
By the end of this year, STCP will have increased its electric fleet to 88 buses, with an EUR 12 million investment. The overall goal is to reach the end of 2025 with 136 electric buses, which will represent an additional investment of just over EUR 29 million. The company will reach a total of 444 buses.
There are other investments in the pipeline, such as the refurbishment of the Via Norte and Francos parking stations and the conversion of the Areosa parking station to accommodate the Metrobus.
For now, the 48 new electric buses - an investment of around EUR 20 million, partially financed (by over eight million) under the 'public transport decarbonisation' of the Recovery and Resilience Plan (RRP) - will replace 24 diesel vehicles, thus translating into a net increase in the company's transport capacity. 'The aim of acquiring these new electric vehicles is to comply with the decarbonisation of our fleet, which we committed to with our shareholders', STCP's chairwoman revealed.
Cristina Pimentel stressed the goal of 'reaching 2027 with 50% of the fleet already electric and the rest running on natural gas'.