Train station

Here comes ‘urban mobility’: a one-card project for public transports costing €2.7 million “fundamental step towards making charges compatible across different regions”

Portugal’s government plans to invest some € 2.7 million in a project dubbed, allowing – in its first phase – the creation of a single card to travel on public transport throughout the country.

The news has come from Secretary of State for Urban Mobility, Jorge Delgado: “ is the appealing name we found to call this project and the first step we are taking is at the level of a physical support,” he said. “It is really to solve the problem of being able to have only one type of support to travel anywhere in the country, whether it is a card, an application, a mobile phone, or even the use of a bank card”.

The project – which aims to create an intermodal ticketing platform with national coverage – kicked off today in the city of Coimbra, at a ceremony where the agreement that makes it possible was signed by the Institute for Mobility and Transport (IMT), the Lisbon Metropolitan Transport company, TML, and the Porto Intermodal Transport – TIP.

As Jorge Delgado noted, this fundamental step, although seemingly elementary, has not yet been taken, but is essential to make the tariffs of the different regions compatible, since “each region has its tariff, each region has its support” and “they do not communicate.

“From today we have managed to commit, among ourselves, to work (together to ensure) that the platform’s working basis is strictly the same and that we have no excuse not to develop integrated tariff products, because the platforms do not work or because they are not compatible,” he said. “Once this is done, it will then always depend on the policies that we want to develop with your tariff.”

During the ceremony, the CEO of IMT, João Jesus Caetano, said the project would allow for interoperability between the systems of the country’s two metropolitan areas.

To this end, “the necessary technological conditions will be created to integrate the classic ticketing systems of Porto and Lisbon – namely from the training of their sales and charging equipment, and validation and supervision – to allow interoperability between the Navegante card (in Lisbon) and the Andante card” in Porto, he explained.

Regarding mobile ticketing on smartphones, he stressed these will empower transport authorities to develop mobile ticketing applications.

“This functionality will also include the ability to load onto physical cards travel tickets from different national transport networks, with the smartphone functioning as a point of sale and loading,” he said. “This second development is expected to be completed in the first half of 2024.”

With regard to open ticketing for bank credit and debit cards, he said that “a reference architecture will be defined and approved in the second half of 2024, so as to allow for public contracting of this type of solution by the various regions of the country.”

At the event’s opening session, mayor of Coimbra, José Manuel Silva predicted that the project would revolutionise the way in which people relate to public transport, as well as facilitate accessibility throughout the country with a single card.

Secretary of state for infrastructure, Frederico Francisco, stressed the platform “comes at a good time” – while acknowledging as a public transport user that “it comes very late“…

The platform is a nationwide project that consists in the creation of a technological platform for intermodal ticketing, allowing the interoperability between the existing systems, as well as the introduction of new ticketing systems.