Urban circuit in center of the city of Viseu operated by electric mini-buses with pre-established schedules and stops for entry and exit of passangers on demand
With the aim of demonstrating new mobility technological solutions the General Direction of Land and River Transport in partnership with the Portuguese Association of Electric Vehicles and 25 Portuguese Municipalities, implemented the initiative “Demonstration Program for the Introduction of Electric Buses in Public Urban Transport Fleets in Portuguese Cities” between 2002 &2005. Viseu was the first to develop and implement a new integrated circuit in the urban public transport service operated by 3 electric minibuses. This circuit in operation until today contemplates the Historical Center where the main public equipments are located and it has a fixed route of 2.3 km, being the service operated on demand. The vehicles have a range of 100 to 150 km and a capacity for 22 passengers with the operation of the service every day and a frequency of 15 minutes. Totally free the service serves, mostly, the oldest population of the center of the city, transporting annually about 13,000 passengers. However, with the definition of the new mobility strategy of the Municipality, the MUV - Urban Mobility of Viseu, the minibuses will have a new image and the service will be paid. A 3-way ticket will cost 1€. This mobility on demand service is also one of the measures of the SUMP. It's worth of notice that the project is still innovative, since it integrates low-carbon urban transport, mobility on demand concept and contributing to reduce carbon emissions and promote sustainable mobility.

Resources needed

700.000 € (without VAT) – Value of the acquisition of three electric mini-buses
400.000 € - Approximately cost of the service per year (supported by the Municipality of Viseu)

Evidence of success

After 14 years the service is still active serving around 13,000 users on average per year. 2019 also marks the beginning of MUV - Urban Mobility of Viseu, the new mobility system and the circuit of the minibus continues to be part of the available mobility offer. Being operated by 100% electric buses, this service is also based on the Municipality's vision of making Viseu's mobility more sustainable, inclusive, safe and efficient.

Potential for learning or transfer

This service implemented by the Municipality of Viseu can be adopted and adapted to other cities. Not only cities that also have a historic center or tourist areas, but also others that have Limited Traffic Zones or Low Emission Zones.
Thus, the urban circuit has two dimensions: a touristic and a social dimension.
From the tourist point of view, the service can promote electric mobility for accessibility to tourist sites and emblematic areas.
From the social point of view, it allows the population residing in a certain area of the city, namely vulnerable people, to move to other points.
This flexible transport service can integrate a Sustainable Urban Mobility Plan as a more effective solution to promote a wider and adequate territorial coverage of public transport.

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Main institution
Municipality of Viseu
Centro (PT), Portugal
Start Date
August 2005
End Date


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