The Mondego Mobility System (SMM) arose from the need to reactivate a railway line in the Portagem area, in the city of Coimbra. In this area, there was once a railway line, still visible on the road, as well as a station. The objective now would be to adapt this route for a transport that could coexist in the urban environment.
The circuit would be carried out by Bus Rapid Transit circulation, where the vehicle would have exclusive lanes, as well as priority of passage at all intersections, making the trip faster and ensuring the safety of passengers.
The route to be taken by transport would start in Coimbra-B, the oldest railway station in Coimbra and would end in Serpins, after the municipality of Lousã, on what would be called the Lousã line. However, there is another line in the project that would go to the University Hospitals of Coimbra (HUC), on the so-called Hospital Line.
The Lousã Line would be the longest. The Line would be divided into two services: Urban Services and Suburban Services. Urban Services refer to the route within the city of Coimbra, starting at the Coimbra-B train station and ending at Vale das Flores. After this route, the route would pass to the outskirts of Coimbra, ending in Serpins. Between 2009 and 2012, improvements were made to the infrastructure, as well as the line being restructured, changing the positions of old stations, as well as adapting the road for the future passage of the Metrobus. In the development of this line, works are currently focused on adapting the sections to the Metrobus and a tender is underway to adapt the route between Portagem and Coimbra-B.
For the Hospital Line, the work carried out is different. The Line will connect with the Lousã Line at the future station “Aeminium/Loja do Cidadão.” For the line's operation, the Metrobus will have to cross downtown Coimbra, so some of the buildings will be deconstructed, mainly on Rua da Sofia.
Works by the numbers
In total, the Metrobus line will total 42 kilometres, which will unite three municipalities, through two lines. In total, there were 41 stops, 32 of which are included on the Lousã Line. Seven tunnels were built, as well as 13 bridges. It is estimated that the Metrobus circulation will start in 2024.