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Public transport history


The first vehicle of transportation within the city of Porto that references it is called "carroção".

However, prior to the carroção and working as a means of public transport, but individual existed the litters and the car seats, the urzelina is and machineries.

The palanquins or "andas" would have been used in the port between the 21st century. XVI and XIX and would be at the service of fidalgas and princesses, but served also to transport elderly or infirm and elements linked to the clergy. Also there were private.

Initially the designation "litter" and "seat" was used interchangeably. Already in the 19th century had a different meaning. Both were composed of a wooden box, but the "litter" had larger was transported on the backs of two donkeys and carried a maximum of two "passengers". The bather, more "slight" that litter, carrying only one person and was normally loaded by two Galicians.

Another very common means of transport in the second half of the 18th century were the urzelina is and the machineries. The urzelina is and jalopies, although referred to as identical, there are some differences.

The sege, that could have the ability to carry four people, consisted of a box seat belt in two huge wheels and pulled by two horses or mules driven by a "boleeiro" that was going on a pair of horses. Most distinguished families and traders regularly used this form of transport.

With the advent of the car seats are urzelina is to be used only by women, sick and midwives.
The traquitana was based on four wheels, being the back of the car quite larger than the front.

As for the carroção, considered the first collective public transport in the city of Porto, was nothing more than a car of oxen transformed into closed carriage, with a door and side Windows and two seats arranged one in front of the other. The tractive force was a junta de bois, due to the scarcity of horses as a result of the French invasions. The "inventor" of such means of transport have been Manuel José de Oliveira who had by nickname "Mad-Zé".

Some intellectuals of the time aware of the transformations of society and always critical of some of them, have left us interesting records and snide comments about carroção. One such vitriolic records is Camilo Castelo Branco commenting so nerve-wracking and time-consuming travel made in carroção: "books, libraries, bookstores, huge books need, want, but it is to the carroção, where the time is infinite, the long life as the years of prison, and the impercetível as the movement of rotation of the globe"

This transport will have dominated in the first half of the 19th century, having fallen into decay with the emergence of other means of transport more light and more comfortable as the "omnibus" and "American".

As for the omnibus, a contemporary of carroção, have been introduced in the city at the time of the Constitution of the Union transportation company, in 1839, who imported four coches called omnibus for transport.

Its shape would be in many aspects similar to carroção, that is, a huge glazed wooden box, based on two pairs of wheels, but "male" or pulled by horses and not by oxen.

There were still in the city in the middle of the last century, other means of public transport such as the char-à-Bancs, very similar to omnibus, and trains of the square that could be considered, taxis that already settled in the main points of the city to take your customers and even luggage.

The Ripert, animal traction vehicles very similar to char-à-bancs, caused some headaches to the directors of the company and many altercations between Coachmen and this is because the distance between axes of these cars was equal to that of the Americans, however, began to circulate, hence they seize the rails from Rails to move and improve your performance, claiming that what was on the street was to be used by everyone. In addition to wear the material, were unfair competition, especially in the summer, at the time of the baths. This conflict ended with the replacement of Rails by others in steel and tougher and that do not fit the shot of Ripert. These vehicles have had short-lived, having disappeared from circulation in 1910.

But the real revolution in transport was the "American". Public transport vehicle pulled by one or more pairs of mules or horses that circulated about Rails and it is this characteristic that made him truly revolutionary.


The Porto was the first Portuguese city to enjoy the benefits of "American cars".

In 1858, Albino Francisco de Paiva Aguilar wanted to get ' Government grant to establish an iron path, of so-called American», between the city of Porto and the village of Foz. This authorization, which Pabba failed, the Baron of Trovisqueira twelve years later.

In August 1870 were fixed terms and conditions under which was given to the mentioned authorization, Baron for the establishment at their expense, a railway for the transport of passengers and goods, served by horses (rail road), on the public road between the city of Porto and the village of Foz, and may extend up to Matosinhos.

The import of all material fixed and current assets necessary for the construction and operation of the railway was allowed free of customs duties of United until June 30, 1872. In late June 1871 began the construction of the sideline, and the 29 September of that same year was completed in all its extension line of railway between New customs and the mouth. It was expected to brief the opening to the public, even without official unveiling.

The first route done by this car was the street of New Customs to Passeio Alegre, going later to the mouth and Matosinhos.

Private initiative was then at the origin of the establishment of the first row in the Marginal, inaugurated on May 15, 1872. From the moment that completes the line, it passes into the hands of two other individuals, José de Melo and António Tavares Basto, forming the American Iron Rail Company. A year later arises another company, Companhia Carris de Ferro from Porto, created by Vieira de Castro and Evaristo Pinto. The first company was known by the population as low as the route of their cars took place in marginal, while the top company, would be the company that kept the Americans in circulation in the city centre.

The American car was then the type of vehicle used. The name derives from the country that invented, United States of America. It was in New York, in 1832, which first circulated a vehicle of its kind. However, the first vehicles used in the city of Oporto were acquired to the English company Starbuck Car. They were pulled by one or two pairs of mules in function of the slope of the streets. The banks were in wooden slats "letter in half", arranged longitudinally, where travelers would sit face to face.

This type of animal traction on rail vehicle circulated until 1904. The American established the link between distant points and the city centre via a railway which will later be used by electric. The American car was, without a doubt, in the last century, a revolutionary means of transport, causing the port town itself if extended and small villages, became in a short time, in large agglomerations.


The July 27, 1878 the Câmara Municipal do Porto authorized the two existing Companies to introduce steam traction. Only the Companhia Carris de Ferro from Porto adopted this system which lasted until 1914. However, already in 1893 the two companies had merged, whichever is the latter name.

The introduction of the steam engine was an initiative by the Companhia Carris de Ferro from Porto in the person of José Ribeiro Vieira de Castro. The "machine", a small steam locomotive of urban dimensions, pulled a series of carriages, with a greater number of passengers.

Although only in 1878 if have put the appliance between Boavista and Newpark already in 1874 the Administration had asked authorization to CCFP for fixing a way-of-steam iron between the mouth and Matosinhos.

In 1877 the first authentic experiences with a locomotive on the line of the mouth, which resulted in great success. Home Henschei & Sohn of Kassel (Germany), sent to the company company in 1878, one of its locomotives to tramway, to be experienced in its lines, that impressed by the company's Manager, José Vieira de Castro.

In virtue of this result the CCFP acquired four locomotives of this tag to make summer service to the mouth. Stress that the CCFP was the first in the Iberian Peninsula using steam traction in American rail lines.

The first section to be exploited was between Boavista and Royal station.

Route of the steam engine:
Boavista-Source da Moura-Pea-seven houses-Royal-tunnel-Gondarém Street-Castelo do Queijo-Rua Brito Capelo-Matosinhos (up next to the wooden bridge that existed on the River Leça).

Steam traction was suspended from November 9, 1914, date on which completed the controversial electric line nº 5 liberty square/Matosinhos, via Boavista. Despite having circulated during 36 years, was not a very popular vehicle nor had the expected diffusion through the streets of the city.


The vans, carroçadas in order to allow the transport of passengers entered in open competition with electric cars. From this period the buses and trolleybuses will gradually replace the fixtures that became incompatible with the increasing car traffic and that required ever more energy, hardly supported by Central de Massarelos. By the granting of exclusive public transport, given the Companhia Carris de Ferro do Porto (CCFP) was not allowed the carriage of passengers by other means than those of CCFP, but with the connivance of the Chamber, the coaches began to operate in the city, especially in peak hours attendence, which caused enormous damage to the CCFP.

Even with the reason on their side, the CCFP never saw encyclopedia of them increasingly on city streets, as can be seen from the following paragraph taken from the report and accounts of the CCFP:
"(... ) still competition from bus routes within and on the outskirts of the city, taking passengers and preventing the movement of electric, in the hours of greatest affluence (...) "in the report and accounts of the CCFP, 1933.

In 1933, the administration of the CCFP, doing an analysis to the current public transport system of the city acknowledged that "the first ' establishment ' (cars, Center, Sub-stations and lines) had been completely defeated () being needed to be replaced in its entirety.

The number of passengers increases significantly also, and it was impossible to meet the numerous requirements of passengers getting often electric cars in "Rosary" (term used at the time for a good amount of cars stopped in the queue), as a result either of the hindrance of the tracks, but the frequent power cuts.
Appeared in the January 1, 1939 port Trade, an article titled "The Future of urban transport Port" where he was singled out as a transitional solution a mixed system, electric cars and auto-omníbus, and a term of 25 years for it to be abolished altogether the electric traction on Rails, with sacrifice for the concessionaire but with benefit to the public and transit-because it was understood that by this means the "traffic jams" on the streets would end.

40 years have brought profound changes to public transport. In 1936, the CMP warns the CCFP, on the basis of article thirty-first of the deed of concession for the exploitation of electric road in the city of Oporto, that contract would be terminated in 1941.

This pretense of CMP only failed to materialize in 1941 because flared at the time so notorious 2nd World War, which led to the Chamber and the Government to postpone for over 5 years the situation.

Come the year 1946 begins a new era in public transport. The CCFP, after 73 years of operation gives rise to the STCP (Service de Transportes Colectivos do Porto), led by the Câmara Municipal do Porto. It was the time of CMP intervene directly in the lives of the city's public transport, and was what made, elaborating a plan/program were established priorities for the years ahead.

One of the priorities was the acquisition of autobuses, for which was reserved a extraordinary expense and more tales tales 3850 1300 for the acquisition of land for the construction of the 1st stage of garage and workshop.

Yet that same year, 1946, studied and established the basis for acquisition of 15 autobuses, whose award turned out to be a firm of capital-Auto-Triumph-and the first units to be delivered in July 1947.

The strategy mapped out by STCP in 1946, regarding the acquisition of buses, would be put into practice in the course of 1948. In fact, not all correra as planned, because of out 15 buses were purchased in 1946 only two were available in March 1948, by which the Administration not wanting to waste any more time, or harm the public, inaugurated on April 1 of the same year, the ' C ' career, which stemmed from the Avenida dos Aliados and had its terminus in Carvalhido.

Route of the 1st bus: Career
Avenida dos Aliados, Trinity Square, r. da Trindade, r. de Camões, r. João das Regras, r. Fonseca Cardoso, r. Faria Guimarães, intersection of r. João Pedro Ribeiro (zone), r. Faria Guimarães, r. s. Dinis, r. da Nataria, Carvalhido.

The first buses that circulated in the city of Oporto were Daimler trademark trademark, and were firm show a truck similar DALFA, Lda. that was working in Ovar. The chassis were from England, and cost the STCP, already show a truck similar, about 1000 tales each.

The buses began the movement painted yellow, and later, in 1959, changed to green.

The evolution in terms of bus made itself felt during 1948, because as the ordered material (buses) was coming were inaugurated new careers, and at the end of year 4 careers in exploration with a network extension of 26 kilometres. With 10 buses in circulation reached a daily average of 5000 passengers.

Bus opened in 1948:
C-Carvalhido-April 1
D-Antas-June 1
A-Foz-June 24
E-Padilla-October 23

The buses came and won. Even with the construction in the workshops of the STCP a new electric model-"S-500"-bus via increased from year to year, their fleet. With the company's Remodeling plan, prepared since 1962 and placed in motion from 1967, the bus is definitely as protagonist of the city's public transport, electric over both in kilometres travelled as passengers and despectivas recipes. From there, the bus never ceased to expand, currently still being the most widely used means of transport, to the satisfaction of the needs of the population of the metropolitan area of Porto. However, the bus not sentenced irreversibly still see electric because the electric, although in a more circular tourist than commercial.

The current buses are efficient, ecological and using diverse sources of energy. From the year 2000 the STCP bet on Natural gas as alternative energy and more economic in operation a maximum of 255 gas buses, representing 57% of the fleet. The STCP also participated in 2004 and 2006 on a European project to test hydrogen-powered buses in regular operation. Circulated in Porto, during 2 years, 3 hydrogen-powered buses, clean energy and abundant on the planet.

In terms of bus network, after the entry into operation of the Metro, in 2003, the STCP conducted a thorough remodeling of your network, which culminated with the new network implemented in 2007. The numbering of the lines started to have digits instead of the previous 2 and was made a redefinition of routes in order to increase the repercussions on train (CP) and Metro. The port was also the first city in the country to adopt an intermodal and contactless ticketing, which allows you to use the same price the various services and modes of transport.


From this period the buses and trolleybuses will gradually replace the fixtures that became incompatible with the increasing car traffic and that required ever more energy, hardly supported by Central de Massarelos.
In 1941 the Câmara Municipal do Porto warns the Companhia Carris de Ferro from Porto that the concession contract of exploitation of electric road in the city, would be terminated, which only happened after World War II in 1946. From this date the Chamber of Porto leads the STCP, or services de Transportes Colectivos do Porto, which replaced the Companhia Carris de Ferro from Porto. One of the goals was the purchase of buses, first acquired in April 1948 coming to 11 at the end of the year. The first line was to Catano. In 1959 began to circulate trolleybuses.
The first public performances of electric traction vehicles were held in Berlin by Siemens in 1881, but still with some technical issues to be resolved. Only in 1888 with the Sprague, the electrical system was installed in a city, in Richmond Virginia. From the 1890 electric began to popularize in almost all European cities.

In Porto, the electric traction was founded in 1895, with the Iron Rail Company which had blown port, in 1893, with the American Iron Rail Company port to the mouth and Matosinhos, having prevailed the first name. The increase of capital facilitated the purchase of new vehicles and the investment in installation of the airline. Searching for a revolutionary means of transport and economic viable for the hilly streets of the port.
The hypothesis, in 1892, hilly streets, nas-clerics, Santo António (catual 31 January), and Mouzinho da Silveira-be applied lifts similar to Lisbon. However, a year later, in 1893, the thought of the Manager of the company, dynamic and enterprising man, radically changed to say that the best solution would be to electric traction.
In January 17, 1894 José Ribeiro Vieira de Castro drove to the Câmara Municipal do Porto an application asking for license-how to test-replace ', in the draw of their cars, the animal force, electric lines by marginal and restore, since the rua do Infante d. Henrique until the end of the County and from the Paseo de Gracia (Ropework) until Matosinhos».
The advantages of the new system were varied: the timetables could be more regular because of the speeds being established; facilitated the multiplication of transportation units as they are not dependent on large amounts of cattle; improved circulation on the streets of steeper slope; was a transport that used a clean energy contributing to greater health of the streets. The urban space was then able to reorganize; widened its perimeter to attach old suburbs, creating other simultaneously.
The first electric car line, was opened in 1895. Ia do Carmo to the Arrábida, extending to the mouth and Matosinhos. From there the electric lines expanded throughout the city and neighboring counties, being the most important urban transport since the end of the first decade of the 20th century up to the beginning of the same century, 60 years of their golden period, but also the beginning of its decline.
The electrification of lines started in 1895 came to contribute on par with industry and commerce, for the development of the city, its growth and the nearby towns. In 1895 was also the first automobile imported from Portugal Paris, second-hand, by count of Avilez. It was the starting point for the automobile revolution that would process throughout the 20th century, especially in the two main cities of the country-Porto and Lisbon.

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