New Ticketing System (Coimbra)

Basic Information

Mobility solution ID





Thematic areas

Collective passenger transport & shared mobility
  • Ride sharing
  • Car sharing
  • Intermodality
  • Ticketing and tariffs
  • Service improvements


A new ticketing system in Coimbra will make public transport in conjunction with private operators more comfortable and easier to use.

Implementing sustainable mobility

Coimbra wants to make public transport faster, more comfortable, and easier to use. The city has realised that it is paramount to launch a new ticketing system that covers several transport operators and uses technology that allows for contactless validation. Moreover, the new ticketing system will offer a wider range of products and make fraud control more reliable. The main aim of the measure is to attract new public transport users.

The ticketing system will be integrated with other SMTUC systems, namely the System of Exploitation‘s Information Treatment, GPS - Operation Support System and the Integral Transport System Management. The new ticketing system constitutes a technological innovation, which will allow for the creation of a transportation pass for the citizens of Coimbra and the surrounding municipalities to use SMTUC lines without extra charge.

Coimbra expects that the new ticketing system will make the different transport operators work together more effectively through a simple fare system and new products that allow for greater intermodality.


The implementation of the Coimbra Municipal Urban Transport Services’ (SMTUC) new e-ticketing system was completed on 1 February, 2012. The installation of the system in 150 buses began in February 2011. However the system began functioning for the public in a test mode in September of 2011, during the European Mobility Week. At this time new driver consoles were installed in a trial situation for providing on-board ticket sales. After a successful trial phase, the new system advanced with the introduction of the contactless tickets (Viagem conVida) on January 1st 2012. These tickets have a paper support and an acquisition cost of 0.5 Euros and could be reloaded during one year. Finally, on 2 February, 2012 the new system became fully operational with the launching of the smart-card (Coimbra conVida). The smart-card is a long-term support for passes and other mobility services and products.

Previously, during the month of December, SMTUC launched a municipal wide information campaign promoting the system and explaining its use to all the citizens of Coimbra. Especially relevant, SMTUC mailed over 84,000 leaflets explaining the e-ticketing system to all the municipal households.

Based on Calypso technology, the new e-ticketing system has numerous benefits for the stakeholders involved and especially for the citizens of Coimbra. The principal benefits of the new system are:

  • Greater technical reliability;
  • Greater integration;
  • Greater interoperability; and
  • Greater intermodality;

Currently, the new system has integrated all the SMTUC bus fares and Coimbra’s Park & Ride services. Taking advantage of the new technology, it is now possible to create tickets that allow journeys on several bus lines during a period of one hour (with the previous system, only a single trip was possible and on one line only). These tickets are already the standard for the Park & Ride Service and could be extended to the public transport network. In opposition to the old system, it is now also possible for passengers to choose the number of trips they want to load. Also, an event service is programmed to be implemented in the coming weeks, in which organisers of events can purchase a package of bus trips for the participants of a specific event (e.g., conference, concert, workshop, sporting match). In the future, other mobility services can be integrated with the new e-ticketing system, such as car-sharing services, bike-sharing system, national rail services, and other regional public transport operators. Contacts with the surrounding municipalities and public transport operators established for the creation of an inter-municipal pass.

An on-line pass payment system is under development in which passengers can pay their fair on the internet and subsequently load them on the on-board validator (or at home if the user have a load module for this effect). The development of a system to support the NFC technology (use of the mobile phone like an e-card) is also foreseen.


The results of the measure are:

• An increase of the average operating revenues (+0,02 €/v-km) due to a shift from private cars to public transport (+ 1,2% PT users) and a decrease of the average operating costs (- 0,0095 €/v-km). Adding the effects of the operating revenues and costs it can be concluded that the measure has a positive impact from an economic view point. This fact has been confirmed by the Cost-Benefit Analysis showing that the measure can generate a positive NPV of 1,82 M € over a 15 year period with a payback of the investment expected to be between the 5th and 6th year of implementation.

• Significant energy savings due to the assessed reduction of the energy consumption per passenger (-0,24 MJ/pkm) and generates a positive impact on CO2, NOx, and PM emissions with a decrease of 17,081 g/pkm, -0,698 g/pkm, and 0,03 g/pkm, respectively. The CO emissions remained constant.

• An increase of the Park & Ride system usage with a growth of 10% of the e-tickets sold.

In the future the e-ticketing system will continue functioning, as well as the development of the on-line payment system. Once the legal issues relating to national legislation and the financial crisis will be overcome, the payment and reload of the e-cards through ATM machines will also be implemented. The contacts created for the establishment of an inter-municipal pass will continue, namely by searching for new ways to avoid financial barriers and involve both the surrounding Municipalities and PT operators in a common project.

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