The city of Faro has since today a shared network of electric scooters, an operation that integrates a mobility strategy that provides for the launch of a public bicycle service by the end of the year.
In an initial phase, 75 small scooters will be available, distributed in ten locations in the city, but the service is expected to be expanded to more areas and more operators in the coming weeks, said the councilor of the Faro City Council with the responsibilities of Urbanism and Transports, Sophie Matias.
In terms of infrastructure, the municipality plans to build six kilometers of new cycle tracks and remodel existing bike lanes and tracks, some of which are shared with cars, added Sophie Matias, during the launching of mobility projects in Faro.
Subsequently, the network of cycling infrastructures should be extended to other areas of the territory, linking the city of Faro to Gambelas, about eight kilometers away, where the largest one of the two UAlg campuses is located.
During the presentation of the project, Mayor Rogério Bacalhau said he wants to launch this year the tender for a shared bicycle system, an operation that involves a larger investment and is still under study.
Because it is a “riskier” operation, the Faro Chamber “will put into budget” a budget to ensure the investment in the system, whose molds are still to be thought, in terms of equipment, business model and tariff structure.
For electric scooters, these can only be used through the VOI operator’s mobile application, with a release cost of one euro and a value per minute set at 15 cents.
The fact that the system was used exclusively through an application meant that a municipality, which intervened at the end of the session, considered it to be a “non-inclusive” model, arguing that access should be via a card.
Despite agreeing with the project, Joana Martins also questioned the safety of those who use the system of scooters, since “the roads are not suitable for the use of this type of equipment”, due to the irregularity and poor condition of the asphalt.
After the intervention of the municipality, Rogério Bacalhau admitted that the ideal conditions will never be met and that these solutions raise problems that “did not exist before” and that will be analyzed.
On the other hand, he said, the Faro Chamber will promote sensitization sessions to take care of the use of these two-wheeled vehicles.