The Mayor of Porto, Rui Moreira, will present, at the next Executive meeting, taking place on Monday, the 6th, a recommendation for the Government to “carry out an urgent assessment of the status of the works in progress”, by of Metro, and “an audit on the inspection and design changes verified thereof and on safety measures on the various work fronts”.
In the same document, the Mayor informs the Government and Metro do Porto that “it will not grant any licenses for any work on the Rubi line that causes changes or new constraints on mobility and existing public transport methods, until the work on the line Rosa and BRT (‘metrobus’) are completed, or allow normal mobility flows”.
After having spoken out on the matter, in a recent city Council, Rui Moreira reaffirms that the Municipality “has been following, with increasing concern, the works that are underway in the city”, promoted by Metro, as part of the expansion of its network. “It appears that the works in progress, whether on the Rosa line or the BRT, do not comply with the timetables, are not properly signposted, and do not take into account basic safety issues”, he adds.
Construction delays across the board
In terms of execution delays, the recommendation points to 121 days on the BRT line, between Casa da Música and Praça do Império, with the intervention only being completed at the end of July 2024.
In the case of the Pink line, there are several delays, depending on the work front. Thus, the construction of the new Praça da Liberdade station, starting from Largo dos Lóios and connecting to the S. Bento station, should end in December 2024 and is delayed by four months, with completion scheduled for April 2025.
The diversion of the Vila river, between Rua de Mouzinho da Silveira and Largo de São Domingos, had a completion date initially scheduled for September 30, 2022. However, the second and final phase of the work will only begin in February 2024, with an estimated duration of approximately three months, resulting in a delay of one year and nine months.
The new Santo António Hospital station, in Jardim do Carregal, is 92 days late, while the final version of Avenida de França should have been delivered, originally, at the end of October 2022. However, “only on the 26th of October 2023 was partially delivered, almost a year after the scheduled deadline. The completion of its final version is now scheduled for November 30, 2024, when the avenue will be completely restored”, can be read in the recommendation.
The work front in Galicia is currently 244 days behind schedule and the emergency and ventilation shafts, in Praça de Parada Leitão and Bom Sucesso, are 92 and 190 days late, respectively.
Recommendations from local authorities “have been ignored”
According to the recommendation signed by the Mayor, “the level of contracts carried out by Metro do Porto and the way in which they are communicated do not comply with the standards of rigor and excellence required by the Porto City Council”.
“In this sense, an immediate increase in quality is necessary to minimize the impact on those who live or work in the city of Porto”, he adds.
Rui Moreira recalls that “these are matters that have been highlighted by the Porto City Council for a long time, within the scope of monitoring meetings” and that they have already prompted, moreover, a hearing of the Metro administration by the Municipal Assembly and, more recently, by the Executive.
“The truth, however, is that there are clear and undeniable symptoms that the recommendations that were made by local authorities have been ignored, that the deadlines that are communicated are permanently undermined by reality, that there is no consistent effort to improve conditions of the numerous work fronts”, reads the document to be presented next Monday, adding: “There is not a single work front where the deadlines are met. And with each passing month, new delays accumulate and constraints. No one now knows, or worse than that, believes, about the successive timetables”.
Because of all this, “the population feels deceived by the deadlines that are communicated to them and which are never met, they feel harassed by the impact of poorly marked and poorly protected construction sites, they feel unable to resort to any form of transport, because there are impassable sidewalks, because the Sociedade de Transportes Coletivos do Porto, EIM, SA (STCP) service cannot flow, because individual transport is faced with chaotic, often unexpected situations”.
STCP operates with successive and prolonged delays
In the case of works on Avenida Marechal Gomes da Costa or Rua Mouzinho da Silveira, STCP operates with successive and prolonged delays, reaching up to 40 minutes, with commercial speeds of approximately 7 km/h, slightly faster than the speed of a walk. “While STCP has managed to recover the levels of demand recorded before the COVID-19 pandemic, reaching 120% compared to 2019 in the Andante areas peripheral to the Municipality of Porto, due to these constraints, in the Andante areas of Porto, demand is only 80% of the 2019 level”, the document reads.
Despite the Government’s commitment to public transport, “which deserves the enthusiastic approval of the Municipal Executive and an overwhelming majority of our citizens”, Rui Moreira recalls that the route of the Rubi line, “which was not previously agreed with the Municipality of Porto, is not the most desirable”, concluding: “the city cannot handle the opening of new work fronts that have an impact on the already much-harassed mobility. Otherwise we will have a terrible impact on a city that has not yet forgotten the impact in the medium and long term of the works of Porto 2001”.