Albufeira GIRO buses

Dear Editor,

It’s been a little over a year since the Albufeira GIRO bus service was changed. Some changes were for the better, for example the expanded network, electric buses and more frequent service. However, those responsible in the Câmara may be wondering why their buses have often been running nearly empty, despite the town having been packed with tourists this summer. I share my thoughts as I have with them!

I do have a senior bus pass which, at €12.50 a month for the whole, is good value. Of course, in the UK, I would travel free, but I won’t begrudge less than 50 cents a day.

  1. It’s expensive for many users. The withdrawal of the 1-day tourist pass and also the free transfers between buses within 1 hour means that if your journey across town requires two buses, it’s two fares of €1.90 if paid cash, therefore €3.80. The same trip by Uber or Bolt does not cost a lot more and is much quicker. For two people, it’s a no brainer when €7.60 is needed to cross town. Even a taxi can be cheaper.
  2. Confusing and sometimes missing information at the stops. There is NO information currently visible at the bus station for those coming in from out of town. Not a good start. Who do you ask? The information at the stops is in tiny print. At several stops, no-one has bothered to take down the maps of the previous network. On almost every journey I take, someone stops the bus to ask the driver if they are going to where is needed. Locals, not tourists. Something must be wrong.
  3. Incorrect destination displays on the front of the bus. Not often but noticed.
  4. Nowhere to reload multi journey reduced fare and seniors passes except at the main bus station, which is well out of the way for most users. No contactless payments, which, of course, is now the norm for public transport across most of Europe and probably the world.

Thomas Allen