Public transport in the Algarve is better, but there is still a lot to do

For António Pina, one of the solutions is to have «new forms», such as «the on-demand transport service, which is more flexible»

The service has improved, but there is still a lot to do. This is the “positive” assessment that AMAL – Comunidade Intermunicipal do Algarve makes of the public road transport concession that created the “VAMUS” network, at the end of 2021. For the future, it is necessary to “change the mindset of the user”. 

António Pina, president of AMAL, was one of the guest speakers at the conference “1st Generation Public Service Contracts for Passengers – Balance and Future”, organized this Tuesday, January 9th, by the Mobility and Transport Authority ( AMT), in Barreiro.

In statements to the Sul Informação On the sidelines of the session, the mayor of Olhão also highlighted what he had already said in the panel in which he participated: the bus service in the region has improved.

«The balance is positive. There were improvements from a service point of view, due to the new financing formulas and the reduction in tariffs, but also in terms of communication, image and reliability of the service», he considered.

Still, in António Pina's opinion, there were two obstacles: the pandemic, "which made some improvements difficult", and the fact that the concession was only for five years.

Despite the progress, the president of AMAL also highlights the need to change «the mindset of the user”.




«We cannot continue to want, in some territories, that the bus runs at the same times and goes empty, with no one using it. This has enormous ecological and financial damage», he considered.

For António Pina, one of the solutions is to start having “new forms”, such as “the on-demand transport service, which is more flexible”.

«People and mayors need to recognize that this adaptation is not a loss of service, but an increase in quality and environmental and financial sustainability», he stressed.

The thing is, António Pina acknowledged, mobility in the Algarve «is not excellent, nor will it ever be».

«In the Algarve, we are 400 thousand people spread across the territory. We have a large dispersion and it is clear that serving locations of 10, 20, 30, 40 people is impossible, but this mindset it has to change,” he said.

Another of the problems recognized by the mayor is the lack of drivers which results «from the amount that is paid», but also from the fact that it is a «five-year concession, making it difficult to provide stability and a career».

Therefore, for the future, António Pina said that AMAL will “take advantage of the knowledge acquired” to “start preparing the new concession that will have a term of 10 to 15 years”.



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