Located on the south bank of the Tagus River across from Lisbon, Almada is one of 18 municipalities within the Lisbon Metropolitan Region, with 174,030 residents living in an area of 72 km2. The city of Almada is a modern, young and vibrant urban space and its current population of 100,000 is growing due to urban migration.
Not all areas within the Almada region are densely populated. Private car trips originating from these regions exacerbate urban traffic problems, thus the goal is to strengthen public transport in Almada's sparsely populated areas. Almada's Local Sustainable Mobility Strategy aims to:
According to the 2015 Mobility Inquiry, Almada's modal split is 47 percent car, 31 percent public transport (PT), 5 percent public transport + car, 17 percent pedestrians and 1 percent cycling. However, the recently introduced light rail system, the introduction of pedestrian zones in the city centre, the development of the Almada Cycling Plan and the optimisation of PT-PT and PT-bike intermodality have all helped make Almada's transport system more diverse and competitive.
In parallel, Almada has made efforts to disseminate information and raise awareness among the general public through activities such as European Mobility Week (Almada was the winner of the 2010 European Mobility Week Award); Green Week; public participation forums; projects for schools (through Children’s Agenda 21); and projects co-financed by the EC.
Almada comprises an urban area with a very high population density, and other districts, such as the SmartMove implementation area of Sobreda, with low population densities. In this parish of Almada, which features green areas combined with small residential districts, the bus-based public transport system is infrequent. There are two private bus companies operating in Sobreda, one of which (Sulfertagus) runs one feeder bus line to the public transport interface at the Pragal rail station.
Within the SmartMove project, a study was carried out to identify the best bus connections to tram lines and the train station. This allowed the SmartMove partner AGENEAL to propose improvements to the bus operator, while campaigning for the use of the bus system as a feeder for the tram and train lines. An AMC campaign was also implemented, focusing on the two public transport feeder bus systems.
The Almada SmartMove campaign reached a total of 1,346 individuals, including those taking part in AMC discussions at their homes and others contacted at public. A survey of participants after the campaign found that:
The increase in public transport use corresponded to a reduction of 148 car trips per week, or a reduction of CO2 emissions of roughly 27 tonnes per year.