For the last two years, the Municipality of Cascais has been running its public transit services for free to its residents. It has now reported an increase of use by 10%, despite its launch and main operation period coinciding with the COVID19 pandemic, usually a detriment to public transport usage.
From 2020, Cascais planned and implemented large scale changes to managing mobility in the town. They created a Transport Authority in the first instance and continued by establishing the MobiCascais project, which manages all public transit means (buses, shared bicycles and scooters, parking).
Step-by-step, MobiCascais established a pass to combine the usage of these services, ending up in the present 'Viver Cascais Card', and an app to plan and perform public transit trips in Cascais. There are no costs involved to residents.
The cost of about EUR 12 Million per year is covered by two major funding sources, as Miguel Pinto Luz, Deputy Mayor of Cascais, explains: “The first source of revenue is parking in the municipality's car parks. For each person who parks their car in Cascais or uses one of the underground car parks, their payment is automatically channelled to the maintenance of the entire mobility system in the municipality. The second source is the Single Circulation Tax, which is levied on those who have individual transport.”
Cascais makes use of a classical push & pull approach by its free public transit services to residents paid for by car parking and car ownership. There are benefits for both parties: while transit users no longer have to pay for a yearly pass that cost EUR 720, car drivers see less traffic on the roads due to more people using public transit.
All that Cascais’ residents need to benefit from the free-of-charge use is the Viver Cascais Card that verifies their right to free access.
Photo Credit: CM Cascais
Article published first at TheMayor.eu on 4 March 2022.