In this article we will go over transportation solutions that aren’t part of Lisbon’s public transport system. For the sake of simplicity and article utility, we have excluded Uber-like taxi services in the analysis.
Mobility is today one of the main challenges modern cities face and Lisbon is no exception. In order to tackle this problem, one has to reverse the path that cities worldwide have been following in the last decades, and adopt a challenging and uncompromising stance for change. Fortunately, technology and tourism seem to be happily partnering in the last couple of years, giving birth to convenient services that solve part of the mobility problem in Lisbon. It doesn’t really matter where you are in Lisbon, it will be extremely unlikely not to stumble upon on one of the recent mobility solutions that has flooded the city: Cars, scooters, bikes, and bicycles are now everywhere in the city to help get to point A to point B in the most convenient way.
While you can pretty much drive wherever you want, there are limitations on where you can park. The most obvious rule is that whichever situation you’ll find yourself in, you can only park in authorized areas. Meaning that you can’t park by a crosswalk or in front of a residence. Apart from that, authorities’ application of parking fines is loose in most cases, so you are free to park wherever provided you use common sense. Parking coverage, on the other hand, is limited to the city limits and with the exception of DriveNow (less parking coverage), there are no major differences between providers.
While there are many similarities, there are in fact differences between these services. Its utility really depends on what you want to do and where you want to go.
CARS: DriveNow is a carsharing service wholly owned by BMW and it’s the only carsharing in Lisbon that’s widely available. Its vehicles are top of the notch, mint condition and not as expensive as one might think ( €0,31 per minute). This is the ideal car for short day trips or even to do some shopping.
BIKES: ECooltra was one of the first no-dock vehicles in Lisbon and has been around since 2017. Initially with combustion engines, it now operates an almost entirely electric fleet of 200 scooter bikes that are ideal for couples to get around the city. It carries a convenient top-case for minor shopping and it provides two helmets for protection. It has the best price/quality ratio in our opinion.
ELECTRIC SCOOTERS: They are literally EVERYWHERE! You can’t really walk without stumbling in one of these. There are at least 5 providers that offer basically the same service at the same price, so there isn’t much space for differentiation besides availability. Electric scooters tend to be clumsy and driving a little nervous, so they are ideal for very short trips and it’s advisable to use only the designated bike lanes.
BICYCLES: “Jump” is the new bicycle rental platform by Uber that has just entered the city. It allows you to explore the city while exercising. If you get tired, you can always activate its electric engine to a top speed of 25km/H. Just like the electric scooters, it can only carry one passenger (at least in theory) but It’s a far safer alternative and for a cheaper price. Lisbon’s city hall also provides its own bike rental platform via “Gira”. While “Gira” parking is limited to the available docking stations, it does provide a cheap price.
Ok, but how can I compare these alternatives? What’s the best one? … Luckily, Rootfarers is here to help you choose what’s best for you! We never get tired of saying we aren´t just another tour company, we want to make sure you experience Portugal in the most real and authentic way! So here’s a small table that compares some of these providers:
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