Braga has reversed a decade-long decline in bus travellers and is set to report a passenger increase of nearly 1 per cent in 2014, according to the local public transport operator.
In 2004 approximately 12 million passengers used buses in Braga. The number decreased steadily over 10 years, with 2013 seeing fewer than 10 million journeys.
Transportes Urbanos de Braga (TUB) estimates that approximately 10.32 million bus trips were made in 2014.
Baptista da Costa, manager of TUB, said that increased publicity has encouraged citizens to take buses once more.
‘Promotion has been the answer,’ he said, acknowledging that more money has gone into advertising and publicity stunts including recruiting celebrities to cook breakfast on certain routes.
da Costa also cites changes in bus services, namely an extra route that reaches the hospital, an increase in night services, summer beach buses and increased services during events as contributing factors.
TUB has committed to redesigning routes to meet the population’s needs, enhance intermodality and connect them with pedestrian bike paths. By October 2015 Braga hopes to have a new Sustainable Urban Mobility Plan (SUMP) to achieve these goals.
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