The first electric bicycles in the shared-use system are already operational and available for residents who want to use this environmentally friendly solution. The launch event, which took place on May 09, at Infralobo’s headquarters, was one of the initiatives figuring within the event schedule for Loulé Municipality Week. The occasion was attended by senior officials from Loulé municipality’s main the main bodies, who were unanimous in praising the project, which combines technology with sustainable mobility.
The mayor of Loulé, Vítor Aleixo, believes that the implementation of this latest-generation bicycle system in the geographical area covered by Infralobo is “another step in the management excellence” of that area.“
It is very interesting in terms of the message that it conveys with regard to new forms of mobility that have to be environmentally friendly, with zero emissions if possible, as is the case of these shared-use bicycles. This project passes on an image of modernity and harmonisation with the major concerns circulating the world today, while proving that there are many things that will have to change in our daily life. Vale do Lobo is an example of this with this very interesting project.”
Vale do Lobo’s managing director, Pedro Reimão, highlighted the importance of the project in improving how owners, guests and visitors can get around this resort. “It’s a fantastic project because it does a remarkable job at solving several of the problems we have here. First of all the matter of people’s mobility, a major problem because, fortunately, there are large distances to cover, and besides distance there is also the issue of gradient.” On the other hand, he deemed it to be a “sustainable solution”, not only “in terms of avoiding the proliferation of cars and the resulting environmental impact, but also because it avoids the normal circumstance of creating new parking spaces.” Pedro Reimão believes that this is only “an initial phase” of a project that will be expanded in the future, while confident that the number of bicycles available will increase.
This opinion is shared by Infralobo’s president of the Board of Directors, Fátima Catarina, who believes that next year there will be “more bicycles, depending on the success of this initial phase.” Fátima Catarina used the occasion to highlight that the ‘Smart Bikes by Infralobo’ project is part of the Municipal Strategy for Adapting to Climate Change that the municipality of Loulé has been developing throughout its territory.
Daniel Ferreira, representative of Bewegen, the Canadian company that supplied the ‘smart bikes’ system for Infralobo, also commented that this is just “the beginning of a larger project that is planned by Infralobo to endow this area, not only to serve residents, but also to be able to expand the number of stations and bicycles right across the geographic area covered.” The founder and managing director of We Go Share, a subsidiary of Bewegen for the maintenance of bike sharing systems in Europe, was part of the group that rode from Infralobo’s headquarters to Vale do Lobo’s Praça, and says he saw “plenty of smiles” during the inaugural ride. “I was part of the ride but I held up the rear as a ‘follow-up vehicle’, I practically rode the entire trip on my own, and looking at the amount of smiles I saw when I arrived I believe that the participants had a good time,” he summed up. It should also be noted that the company responsible for all the technology associated with the bicycles was Bike Emotion, a Portuguese company.
Infralobo’s managing director, Carlos Manso, deemed it to be “very gratifying” to witness the launch of a project in which “many hours of work, a great deal of dedication and plenty of sweat” have been invested, by the entire team involved in the project. “We feel that we have already made our small ecological contribution. The major step was made by the mayor, Dr. Vítor Aleixo; it was he who encouraged us to go ahead with this project, who gave us the bug, and we believe that, on a local scale, we are already contributing to reducing pollution globally.” Carlos Manso added that they have already been approached by other bodies with the aim of expanding the use of bicycles to other areas of the municipality. “Together, we can influence mobility dynamics and bicycle use in the municipality of Loulé,” he concluded.
At the end of the event, the participants were invited to visit Infralobo’s operations room, which, as described by Fátima Catarina, is “a smart room with unique specific characteristics using the latest technologies on the market.”
The launch of the latest-generation bicycle system in Infralobo’s area of operation is the latest project by this municipal company, included in the environmental sustainability strategy promoted by Loulé Municipal Council.
The ‘smart resort’ concept was launched in March 2017 with the launch of the ‘Infralobo Smart Management’ platform.