This Monday, the municipality of Coimbra approved the project to implement the Hospital Line, which will connect the city center to the health complex by underground (electric buses) as part of the Mondego Mobility System (SMM).
“Today, which is historic, is essentially the result of 30 years of activity,” the mayor told journalists at the end of the chamber meeting and emphasized that “we are finally seeing the light at the end of the tunnel”.
Manuel Machado stressed the fact that it was possible to project the Metrobus so that it crosses the heart of the city, “taking into account the World Heritage and its classifications in all these conditions that had some difficulties to be solved”.
“Today we are taking an important step towards making the Metrobus, also known as the Mondego subway, into circulation structures that are compatible with the pendulum motions studied,” he said. For the mayor, this Monday’s decision is “a remarkable step towards the completion of Metro Mondego”.
The implementation project was accepted by a majority, with the two council members of the Somos Coimbra movement voting against the project and the abstention of the only CDU council member.
The SMM “consists of the implementation of a Metrobus with battery-powered electric vehicles that are used on the old railway line from Lousã and in the urban area of Coimbra” and connects this city with Serpins in the municipality of Lousã through Miranda do Corvo over a length of 42 kilometers.
Of the four works that make up the SMM project, work will be carried out on the section between Serpins in Lousã and Alto de São João in Coimbra as well as on the opening of Via Central in the urban area of the city center. The tender for the section Alto de São João – Portagem (Coimbra) is also taking place.
The Hospital Line connects the city center and the Lousã Line directly with the hospitals of the University of Coimbra, the Portuguese Institute of Oncology and Children’s Hospital.
The European Commission approved the financial contribution of 60 million euros, which should drive the SMM forward, announced the government on January 15.
“This approval corresponds to the granting of a support from the Cohesion Fund of 60 million euros and a total eligible investment of more than 89 million euros,” said the office of the Minister for Infrastructure and Housing, Pedro Nuno Santos.
The European Union’s contribution is achieved through the Operational Program Sustainability and Efficiency in Resource Use (POSEUR). The tenders for the contracts for the remaining sections (Portagem – Coimbra B and Linha do Hospital) will be published in 2021, ”said Pedro Nuno Santos’s office in January.
The PS Municipal Political Committee viewed the approval of the project for the implementation of the Hospital Line as a “historic day in Coimbra for sustainable mobility” as this line is “essential to the sustainability of the project” of the SMM.
“This is another fundamental publication, another step towards the full implementation of this structural investment for the region,” read a statement from the socialist structure.