The Portuguese parliament approved today, thanks to the abstention of the PS, a proposal of the PSD which advocates the suspension of the circular line announced in the project of expansion of the Lisbon metro. The bill received, in addition to the abstention of the PS, the favorable votes of all the other parliamentary groups. The Social Democrats defended the suspension of the construction of the circular line and demanded technical studies of economic viability in order to radically change the initial project. The PSD thus speaks of an extension of the yellow line to Alcântara and the red line to the western zone of Lisbon, as well as the extension of the metro to the municipality of Loures. Users find it difficult to understand that these studies were not done before, and homeowners who bought property in the area of the 2 new stations planned feel aggrieved. Lisbob, the expatriate assistant in Portugal, tells you all about the suspension of the Lisbon metro expansion project.
A radical change of project for the Lisbon metro
Novelty of this project: an extension of the metro to Loures. Indeed, during the parliamentary vote on the proposed suspension of the new metro, the recommendations of the ENP, PCP and BE concerning the extension of the metro to Loures were approved and will be referred to the Committee on the Economy.
"The Portuguese government, opting for the choice of the circular line, postpones the solutions" sine die "that can really serve the mobility of the inhabitants of the region, namely the extension of the subway to the western part of the city of Lisbon , as well as the extension of it to a "black" area in terms of public transport, Loures, "say the deputies of the PSD.
The Portuguese left does not want a "carousel" for tourists
The left-wing parties are recommending the extension of the Lisbon subway system to Loures. They also criticize the project to build the circular line. However, only the PSD supports the suspension of the expansion project with a circular line, described as "carousel" for tourists.
The presentation of these draft resolutions is the result of a petition requesting the extension of the network to the municipality of Loures, whose first signatory is the president of this municipality, Bernardino Soares (CDU). The PCP draft resolution asks the government to reconsider the option of the circular line and pleads for its extension to Alcântara and Loures: "The construction of the circular line will bring little benefit to the city of Lisbon and will involve a set of damages for current users especially a bad development of the metro network ".
The BE considers that the exclusion of Loures from the network "does not take into account the growing displacement of many families to the peripheral municipalities of the capital, due to the exponential increase in the rent of housing in Lisbon".
Draft resolutions do not have the force of law
The draft resolution on the ENP advocates, in addition to the extension to Loures, the "need to invest in public transport, especially metropolitan". The PAN party also claims that "the extension of the metro network to other municipalities and areas of the city, such as Loures, Sintra and the western part of the city of Lisbon, namely Alcântara, Ajuda and Belém, constitutes a priority.
The government announced in May 2017 that the Metropolitano de Lisboa would have two additional stations - Estrela and Santos - for an investment of 210 million euros until 2023. New stations are also planned in the Amoreiras and Campo de Ourique , although in both cases with no expected completion date.
In Lisbon, the project includes a link between Rato Station (currently Linha Amarela) and Cais do Sodré (Green Line), with two new stations in Estrela and Santos.
However, the current route of the yellow line, which connects the stations of Odivelas to Rato, will undergo changes of course and will also include the Telheiras station (green line). Thus, the yellow line will connect Odivelas to Telheiras (with a detour to Campo Grande) and the remaining current stations that are part of this line (Cidade Universitária-Rato) will be part of the Green, which will follow a circular trajectory.
In the face of these indecisions and changes of opinion, many homeowners feel aggrieved. Indeed, since the announcement in May 2017 of the construction of 2 new resorts in Estrela and Santos, the price of real estate has increased sharply in these areas. These 2 stations have been a decisive argument in the acquisition of real estate or even in the installation of new businesses.
Like the new Lisbon airport, which is scheduled to open in Montijo, announced but still waiting for the results of the environmental impact study to start the work, the expansion work on the Lisbon metro looks like also to a poorly prepared and misjudged project, and that it will take time now to make a final decision. The amateurism of Portuguese policy makers is giving cold sweats to the new owners of real estate near these two stations that may not see the light of day.