Funchal’s widely anticipated accessibility service Dial & Ride went live during the week of the CIVITAS Forum Conference 2011.
The launch of Funchal’s accessible mobility measure for the neighbourhood of Santa Luzia, the Dial & Ride service, took centre stage as the main CIVITAS Forum flagship initiative. The European Commission Vice-President along with the regional authorities were present to get the service up and running at its launch. With high slopes, narrow roads, intensive car usage, and a high rate of elderly citizens, the neighbourhood of Santa Luzia provides a real challenge to Funchal’s goal of creating a public transport scheme that attracts people to take the bus instead of private modes of transport. The mostly retired residents simply have to make a free-of-charge phone call to book their trip and that way go out and keep active in retirement. Funchal’s answer is the Dial & Ride mini bus. Whoever lives or works in Santa Luzia, will now be able to go to health care centers, the city market, the municipality, banks, post offices and many more important spots by bus. The service will be provided by one brand new mini bus with less pollutant characteristics, financed by Regional Development Fund Program (ERDF). Intensive research was carried out to find the least pollutant technology to fit the local topography and users with reduced mobility. The small-sized bus selected won the inspiring Regio Stars award for “Innovative and Sustainable Mobility" recently. It was given to Horários do Funchal in the summer of 2011.
Author: Claudio Mantero