Sunday, October 31, 2010

Lisbon Portugal

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Lisbon's public transport network is extremely far-reaching and reliable and has its metro as its main artery, connecting the city centre with the upper and eastern districts, and now reaching the suburbs. Ambitious expansion projects will increase the network by almost one third, connecting the airport, and the northern and western districts. Bus, funicular and tram services have been supplied by the Companhia de Carris de Ferro de Lisboa (Carris), for over a century.
A traditional form of public transport in Lisbon is the tram. Originally introduced in the 19th century, the trams were originally imported from the USA and called americanos. The original trams can still be seen in the Museu da Carris (the Public Transport Museum) (Carris). Other than on the modern Line 15, the Lisbon tramway system still employs small (four wheel) vehicles of a design dating from the early part of the twentieth century. These distinctive yellow trams are one of the tourist icons of modern Lisbon, and their size is well suited to the steep hills and narrow streets of the central city.
There are other commuter bus services from the city: Vimeca, Rodoviaria de Lisboa, Transportes Sul do Tejo, Boa Viagem, Barraqueiro are the main ones, operating from different terminals in the city.
There are four commuter train lines departing from Lisbon: the Cascais, Sintra and Azambuja lines (operated by Comboios de Portugal (CP)), as well as a fourth line to Setúbal (operated by Fertagus) crossing the Tagus river over the 25 de Abril Bridge. A separate CP line to Setúbal ends at the southern bank of the Tagus and requires ferry transfer to reach Lisbon. The major railway stations are Santa Apolónia, Rossio, Gare do Oriente and Cais do Sodré.
The city does not offer a light rail service (tram line 15, although running with new and faster trams does not fall onto this category), but there are plans to build some lines with this service around the city (but not into the city itself).
The city is connected to the far side of the Tagus by two important bridges:
The 25 de Abril Bridge, inaugurated (as Ponte Salazar) on August 6, 1966, and later renamed after the date of the Carnation Revolution, was the longest suspension bridge in Europe. Because of its similar coloring, it is often compared to the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, USA. In fact, it was built by the same company (American Bridge Company) that constructed the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge and not the Golden Gate, also explaining its similarity in design to the former.
The Vasco da Gama Bridge, inaugurated on May 1998 is, at 17.2 km (10.7 mi), the longest bridge in Europe.
Another way of crossing the river is by taking the ferry. The company is Transtejo-Soflusa, which operates from different points in the city to Cacilhas, Seixal, Montijo, Porto Brandão and Trafaria under the brand Transtejo and to Barreiro under the brand Soflusa.
Lisbon is connected to its suburbs and the rest of Portugal by an extensive motorway network. There are three circular motorways around the city; the 2ª Circular, the CRIL and the CREL.
The Portela Airport is located within the city limits. TAP and Portugalia have their hubs here, and flights are available to Europe, Africa, and the Americas.

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