The Lisboa Smart Card system

By News Editor / Updated: 29 Aug 2014

The Metropolitano de Lisboa installed two smartcards as part of its work to introduce seamless travel and integrated ticketing throughout its public transport network.


At the end of 2001, the Metropolitano de Lisboa installed a new ticketing and access control system to the city’s metro network. The change was from an open access system to a closed one with control lines and access channels equipped with doors. The doors are commanded by the reading and validation of data stored in tickets. This new access system required a major change in the ticketing system, involving the introduction of magnetic tickets and the contactless card - “Lisboa Viva”, which replaces the traditional pass and is intended mainly for regular public transport users in the Lisboa region.

Objectives & Implementation

The Lisboa Viva card has an embedded chip and antenna which works by holding the card over a validator, located at entrances of a station. The validator reads and validates the data loaded in the chip and, provided the card is valid, enables access to the networks - presently the Metro and Carris networks. The procedure used for entering the system is the same used to leave the system. The card allows the loading of fares exclusive to each associated operator, multimodal fares, and combined fares.The 7 Colinas card is also based on contactless technology, intended to be loaded with multimodal tickets for urban and suburban trips in the Carris and Metro networks.>The card is included in the new fare system which has been in force since 1st March 2004. The 7 Colinas card is intended for less frequent users enabling them to load the ticket(s) that better serve their particular needs. It can also be used as a multimodal complement to the Lisboa Viva card.The 7 Colinas card works on the same principle as the Lisboa Viva card. Gated entrance channels enable access to the Metro networks while in the buses there are two validating machines. The card may be reloaded at any time with tickets of the same type. If passengers want to load the card with another type of ticket, they must first use up all the tickets of the previous type loaded.


The following points highlight the smartcard impacts on Lisbon’s public transport network:
  • Gated access provides greater security and revenue protection
  • Faster ticketing
  • Better knowledge of origin-destination flows within the underground network
  • Systematic data collection is possible regarding entrance points of the bus network
  • Integrated ticketing between bus and metro for non-frequent users


The Metropolitano de Lisboa website can be found at Metropolitano de Lisboa. The website is in Portugese and English.
Collective passenger transport
Pedro Santos
Neil Smith
07 Aug 2006
29 Aug 2014