Lisbon will soon have a virtual payment app for public transport users

  • ECO News
  • 24 February 2017

A virtual payment app for public transport users in the Lisbon area - wich is being developed by the Portuguese company Nova Base - will "soon" be implemented.

Users of public transport in the Greater Lisbon metropolitan area will soon be able to pay for tickets and travel using a mobile phone app, which should be available by the end of this year.

“This app is another step forward on the road to the virtualisation and decarbonisation of the transport system”, José Mendes, assistant secretary of state for Environment, told Portuguese news agency Lusa. “The idea is that it should be possible – taking secure steps and using Portuguese technology – to offer users the possibility of choosing the most suitable mode [of transport] and the kind of ticketing, being that the payment system is truly virtual”.

At a ceremony in Lisbon to present the app, which is being developed by local company, Mendes said that it could even persuade more people to use public transport.

"The step that we’ve taken today, this pilot concept of virtual payment through Via Verde [the existing virtual motorway toll system] is another little brick in this building that aims to attract more users.”

José Mendes

The Via Verde Transportes app is to be installed on the user’s mobile phone, with the price of the ticket for the trip on Carris buses or trams, the Lisbon Metro or on Transtejo ferries, being charged via Bluetooth.

Manuel Garcia, one of the 20 Nova Base staff that have been working on the project for the past two years, told Lusa that the app “will make the life of public transport clients easier” because it can, for example, calculate the best price for the passenger’s chosen trip.

Although there is “some fine tuning” still needed – namely the installation of Bluetooth-ready equipment on board all Carris buses – the app should be available in the final quarter of 2017, Garcia said.

For Via Verde, Pedro Mourisca promised that the app will “change radically” the way that people travel: “The app will calculate the price and routes automatically”.