In October 2010, Funchal stakeholders involved in the Green Line (PT Tram) and new Bus & Bike scheme came together to brainstorm and achieve breakthroughs in planning and communication activities via the ‘Learning History Workshops’.
The creative workshop held in the morning was dedicated to the Green PT Line, whilst the afternoon session revolved around the Bus and Bike. To widen the debate and bring in fresh thinking, stakeholders working on the project on an occasional basis as opposed to a daily basis were invited. This proved to be a prerequisite for good cooperation and was particularly useful to identify strengths, weaknesses as well as threats and opportunities in the process progress.By fostering «story telling» and sharing experiences, the team learned some lessons on how to improve communication methods so that the implementation of CIVITAS in Funchal can be more effective. From a media perspective, participants spoke of their concern that journalists were quick to pick up on bad news without telling the true story. Public relations experts were on hand to explain the challenges and opportunities arising from good news and bad news, both of which can often result in positive public awareness of the project and improve take-up.Feedback on citizens misgivings relating to the services were also brought to the floor along with possible creative solutions to tackle them. The Green Line group pointed to the general feeling that public transport is a lower class service. Other feedback found that despite the introduction of the Bus & Bike scheme, cycling is still seen as a niche means of transport belonging to the wealthy citizens that live and work in the rather small flat area in the Southwest part of the city. There was an obvious need to go beyond simply championing the scheme as just an integration of 2 environmental friendly modes enabling easy use of the bicycle in the city. It became clear of the need to give it more personality so that everyone can be encouraged to get involved.The conclusion arising from the participants was to build an appealing Facebook stream ‘I Go To Work By Bike/Bus’. This will now become an additional tool for ensuring continuous communication with involved stakeholders, encourage drivers and challenge negative social stereotypes towards public transport and cycling.For additional information please visit our local Facebook webpage:Funchal Facebook page for CIVITAS-MIMOSA