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Changes to Giro bus routes in Albufeira

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    Posted: 24/September/2022 at 19:00
Five electric buses have entered service on the Albufeira Giro bus network. This is on a test basis ahead of a total of 23 electric buses due to be in service by June 2023 to replace and augment the existing diesel fleet.

On 1st December the number of routes on the system will increase from five to 11. Details of actual routes and of course timetables are not yet known, but new areas to be covered will include Olhos de Água, Rocha Baixinha, Malhada Velha, Fontainhas, Cerros Altos, Mosqueira, Patroves, Galé/Salgados, Vale Parra, Guia e Algarve Shopping.

Which on face of it will please residents of Olhos de Água in particular, who have long since been moaning about their poor bus service and even more so over the last couple of years since most weekend buses operated by EVA and VAMUS were discontinued.

And to be able to get a bus to Algarve Shopping should please a lot of people!

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote cubsur Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25/September/2022 at 07:47
I should have course have said that it is quite likely the fares will go up, after no increase for several years though. Free travel for schoolchildren will be maintained.

Another report says that, in time, it will be possible to recharge passes on line and that there will be a real time app to show where the bus is, which is already the case with VAMUS or most of them anyway. Those who are technologically limited will have to stand and wait, in hope, as has been the case for 150 years.

The new operator for the Giro service will be Grupo Barraqueiro, who operate among other things the Fertagus local trains in Lisbon, the Metro sul do Tejo tram system south of the river, the local buses around Évora, many buses around Lisbon and who are major players in the Rede Expressos national coach system.

[As an aside, I think everyone over age 10 should be given a smartphone by the government. That way they cannot be said to be discriminating when it comes to providing services.]
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote cubsur Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28/September/2022 at 07:50
A thought occurs (yes, dangerous I know) that with 11 Giro routes, will there be room for them all to congregate at the main bus station as the five existing routes do? Or will some have to begin and end their journeys elsewhere in town?

Maybe we shall find out before the time comes.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote cubsur Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19/November/2022 at 08:05
There is still no information available about the changes to the buses due to come into effect on 1st December. This will be no surprise to those who live here!

A new official website www.vamusalgarve.pt/giro is under construction. At the moment it has partial information about the five existing routes including route maps marking all the stops.  Using the map and the 'origin / destination' function under Lines (American English, yuk!) you can see the times of the buses between any two stops. You do of course need to be able to read a map to you can find out where you are and where you want to go to. The 'plan your journey' function is not yet working.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote cubsur Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24/November/2022 at 08:52
We are now a week away from the big upheaval to local buses and there is still no information available about the new routes and times.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote cubsur Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25/November/2022 at 14:24
Still no details about new routes and times. Good PR is clearly still not relevant. What I have found out is that fares will not be going up and that I think there will be no changes to the existing five routes, except they will have numbers as well as names. Also the website and app now enables you to see how far away the next bus is from the stop you are waiting at.

VAMUS have advised those with passes for the number 8 route to Rocha Baixinha and the 75 through Galé and Salgados that they must obtain new ones at the bus station.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pyrman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26/November/2022 at 13:16
on the camara website about the contract signing on Nov 22 .... all details and new giro map
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote cubsur Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27/November/2022 at 08:40
Seen that but now the VAMUS website has the times and maps for the new system. it didn't until yesterday!

I am working hard to update my pages. Fares are going up - a lot! Good news is that my seniors pass won't be going up. Some routes will have fewer buses at the weekend.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote cubsur Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27/November/2022 at 16:31
Maps and simple timetables are indeed available at the website. I have spent a joyful morning browsing. Some routes have a bus every 20 minutes at busy weekday times, some now have only one bus an hour all day Saturday. Branqueira has lost almost all its buses. Good news for those arriving by train is that the existing route from the station now goes into the old town around by the town hall before going to the bus station. Bad news is that it will run only once an hour at weekends and it goes on a little circuit of the west side of Ferreiras before heading into town, so takes nearly twice as long. But there will be a second quicker route between the station and the bus station running every half hour seven days a week, going the other way through Torre Mosqueira and Brejos.

Another useful new route is number 10 which runs every half hour every day on a pretty direct route between the bus station, the Cãmara, then old town at Rua Alves Correeia and the Pau da Bandeira view point. If they don't change their minds, there will be late night service in the summer.

The current appalling 'service'  through Galé, Salgados and Vale de Parra to Guia will be transformed and have a bus once every hour on weekdays, once every 2 hours at the weekend and on holidays. In theory there will be connections at Guia with the number 7 below.

Another handy new route for many will be number 7 from the bus station to Guia via Algarve Shopping. That will run once an hour every day, but for some obscure reason will not run before 1000am in summer. if they don't change their minds.

The marina area will be served by two routes, numbers 3 and 8, therefore three buses an hour for most of the day. Since hardly anyone ever gets on or off there, it will be interesting to see if this largesse brings more passengers. There have never been any GIRO timetables at the bus stops. I wonder if the council has spent some money so that people who cannot or will not access information on line will know what the times are.

There has been nothing obvious to be seen on the buses or at the bus station to alert people of these changes. I remember the previous time when old ladies were shaking their walking sticks at the drivers when the bus didn't go where they thought it would.

Many of the timetables show routes making little diversions at certain times of the day, so it no longer possible for some to be at a regular so many minutes past the hour. I have been furiously scribbling down various new journeys as there will no longer be a direct bus to take me to and from the bowls club.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote cubsur Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29/November/2022 at 07:34
I think I have now managed to decipher the new network. The map looks like a bowl of multi-coloured spaghetti that has been dropped on the floor. Almost everyone, myself included, is going to have to work out how to make their customary journeys in a new way.


I shall continue to check and add more information as and when I can.

There is no advice or warning posted on the buses or at the bus station so it will not surprise me at all if many are caught out on Thursday and Friday.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pyrman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29/November/2022 at 10:24
I am absolutely gobsmacked that the link between Montechoro and Santa Eulalia with the escalators, etc has been broken ... one of the busiest routes on the network ... and with buses now going in the opposite direction to previously, ending and starting at Liberdade ... doubt many people will figure it worth using, since two or three in a taxi will be cheaper. Of course they can get off at Town hall and walk down !  These are the most incompetent arrangements for transport I have ever seen ... terrible for disabled or those with walking difficulties. They seem to want people to go via the bus station ... does that cost more ?

I have never seen CM-Albufeira being `friendly` towards tourists ... and this latest trick appears decidely unfriendly .. opposite to likes of Balneario Camboriu in Brazil, where they do everything possible for tourism.

Another corker is that the Red does not appear to go to Liberdade after Camping but heads straight up to Pateo .. then Patroves ... Marina .. and back via Liberdade. If so, people at Camping will have to cross the busy main road and get the Laranja into Old Town ... so many ideas inconsistent with good practice... and safety.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote cubsur Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30/November/2022 at 08:29
There will indeed no longer be a direct link between the Oura end of town and the Rua Alves Correeia end of the old town. The two main circular routes at Oura (numbers 2 and 4) will be going to and from Avenida da Liberdade. The only bus going down Rua do MFA and into that part of town, including Pau da Bandeira,  will be the number 10, which will run to and from the bus station every 20 minutes. But it does not connect with the 2 and 4 anywhere except at the bus station.

Buses in the Cerro Malpique area will be running in one direction only, down the hill. So anyone wanting to from old town up the hill towards ALDI and LIDL will have to go a very long way around.

And yes the new route 3 will run direct from Camping Albufeira direct via the Dolphins to the marina and back to town via the existing Vermelha 1 route. How many people will want to go from the Camping to the marina? A few journeys a day will divert to run via Páteo and Patroves, down the hill to the marina that way. An even more unlikely journey!

On the plus side it will make a faster link between marina and old town in that direction rather than going through the Cerro Grande area. But to go back to the marina, the map says to take the number 9 up one stop to the Avenida by the traffic lights and change to number 3 there. But, no! The 9 will leave the Avenida at 22 and 52 minutes past, so we can infer arrival at the next stop at say 24 and 54. The number 3 leaves there at 15 and 45, approximately.

Try explaining that to the tourists! In the face of that and the €1,90 cash fare, a 5 minute €4 -5 taxi or uber ride for two people is indeed more attractive.

A few years ago there was a massive upheaval to local routes around Portimão, which didn't last long before it was changed again in face of a huge number of complaints. I can see the same happening here.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote cubsur Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30/November/2022 at 09:42
The thought also occurs that with eight different routes stopping at the Câmara going in all kinds of different directions that there will be much caos e confusão even tomorrow, let alone Friday!

I can bet 100% that no-one from the Câmara or the bus company will be on hand to help people figure things out
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote lizrod Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30/November/2022 at 12:24
All sounds so confusing. Will it be a better route for people who live in Ferreiras, as the one we have is a circular route that goes to the bus station then you have to change buses to where ever you want to go.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote cubsur Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01/December/2022 at 10:26
Yes Ferreiras will be better off as the number 5 will go down into the old town Avenida da Liberdade before heading back via the Câmara up to the bus station. Downside will be only one bus an hour at the weekend. The number 5 goes around the area of Ferreiras near the church and school, which will save people a bit of a walk.

I am not sure if the 'obvious' connection from the old town to Ferreiras via the bus station will work unless it's the same bus used, as it arrives 1 minute before the time from the bus station.  Something I would not trust anywhere. Something on the 'to check' list.

There is the option of taking the number 9 from Avenida da Liberdade to the Centro Saúde then walking around the coner (they moved the stops away from the roundabout) and wait 14 minutes for the number 5 to Ferreiras.

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