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Mobility Measure

public transport on-demand demand-responsive
Control system for Dial and Ride service

Funchal has operated a successful Dial and Ride bus service for people with disabilities in the past few years. With CIVITAS, the city has has optimise and extend this service model to an area that is densely populated, had no access to the regular public transport network and is inhabited by many elderly residents.

Implementing sustainable mobility

Since 2005 a Dial and Ride system was established in Funchal to provide an appropriate mobility service to impaired people. The aim of the MIMOSA measure ‘Control System for Dial and Ride Service’ was to address this existing service to the entire population of a limited pilot area Santa Luzia, a neighbourhood located near the city centre.

Dial and Ride services has been used in many European countries as a demand-responsive solution to serve geographically dispersed areas characterised by a low population density. In Funchal, this system was tested in a very dense area. This area registers a 50 percent higher aging index than elsewhere in Funchal and 60 percent higher compared to the entire island.

In sum, the main objectives of the measure are to:

  • Extend the public transport service to provide higher quality for specific users;
  • Increase accessibility of the public transport network for the elderly and people with disabilities; and
  • Test the Dial and Ride service in an area that has no conventional public transport access, and reduce social exclusion of the people who live there.

Due to the narrowness and steepness of the roads, Santa Luzia was not served by public transport before the MIMOSA measure. The establishment of a Dial and Ride system appeared to be an appropriate public mobility offer to the residents of this area.  The principle of the system, called MOBI Santa Luzia, is based on a PT on-demand service in which: the citizens have to register to use the system (online or at the public transport operator offices); and to book their trips at least one hour before the expected departure by phone; then one of the public mini buses from the public transport operator - Horários do Funchal (HF) - will pick them up according to a pre-defined route, bus stops and timetable.

How did the measure progress?

An official demonstration of MOBI Santa Luzia took place during the CIVITAS FORUM 2011 in Funchal, targeting the local government and other politicians who attended the FORUM. After this test, the service was launched and is being in force since October 2011. Dial and Ride service was extended to a new steep street in Santa Luzia in June 2012 that was formerly served by a special taxi service (paid by the PT Operator) only to link the households located along the street to the nearest PT bus stop. This recent extension was important to increase the service demand and demonstrate this scheme efficiency and flexibility.

More work still needs to be carried out in the future. One idea that local partners have thought is to capitalize this experience for tourist purposes, by making a direct competition with taxis that wait for tourists who go downhill with the traditional wooden baskets.

What were the outcomes of the measure?

The key results showed that the MOBI Santa Luzia system was highly appreciated by users but needs to be reviewed in order to enhance the efficiency of the system. The first key result concerned residents’ acceptance and highlighted an excellent result since the overall score regarding satisfaction of residents in the system reached 10 which is the maximum score on a 1 to 10 scale. The second key result showed that a total of 1.384 passengers used the system, with an average of 1,5 passengers/per trip, between October 2011 and May 2012. This number is expected to rise with the expansion of the service to broader areas of the city.

The last key result showed that due to the low number of passengers/per trip, the fuel consumption of buses in MOBI Santa Luzia per passenger is ten times higher than in other urban area. Consequently, the level of emissions per passenger transported has a disproportionate negative impact on the overall air quality in Funchal.

Nonetheless, by connecting neighbourhoods such as Santa Luzia to the entire PT network of the city, the concept of Dial and Ride contributes to enhance the overall mobility quality of Funchal and to offer PT services to all citizens without social and physical distinctions.

Basic Information

FUN 2.2.
April 2013

Thematic Areas