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Lisbon Buses

Volvo B7L CAMOgas-powered vehicle on the Aerobus service at Cais do Sodré, June 2002.

24 June 2010 (in part)

Copyright: ©
Compiled by John Laidlar


Lisbon's city bus operator is Carris, the company which also operates its trams, funiculars and elevator. Its full name is Companhia Carris de Ferro de Lisboa (literally Lisbon Iron Railway Company) As with the trams, the variety of the Carris bus fleet has reduced in recent years, with many old favourites, such as the Daimler (Guy) Victory, the AEC Reliance, Regal and Regent having been withdrawn. A number of Daimler Fleetline double-deckers enjoyed a new lease of life as semi-open-top tourist buses, painted in an eye-catching yellow livery, but even these have now disappeared. They were replaced (from 2000) by new Volvo B10R open-top double-deckers. However, many of the withdrawn types can be seen in the Carris Museum. Nearer to home, an AEC Regal (#104) in orange Carris livery is displayed at the transport museum at Leyland in Lancashire, England.

From left to right: The old orange and mushroom livery on a Daimler Fleetline #811, an AEC Regal of 1948 and two Leyland (Guy) Victories (#85 left and #78 right). Click on the images to view a larger version.

Historical Fleet

The bible for Portuguese bus enthusiasts is Ian Manning's The bus fleets of Portuguese cities and municipalities published in 2007 by DTS Publishing (ISBN 9781-900515-22-1).

Service buses first appeared in Lisbon as follows:

  • 1904-06: Two De Dion Bouton single-deck vehicles were briefly operated by the Nova Companhia dos Ascensores Mecanicos, who also opreated the city's funicular services.
  • 1912: Carris acquired five Leyland vehicles to run on the Sete Rios route to Carnide, north of the city centre.
  • 1914-15: Carris operated 2 Tilling Stevens vehicles and 3 Austins.
  • 1940: To service the Exposição Mundial (World Exhibition) in Belém, 6 AEC Regent buses were acquired but they were left inactive until 1944 when they were introduced on a service to the airport in April of that year. By 1949 Carris had acquired a further 141 buses, all single-deckers, as follows: 111 AEC Regals, 7 Leyland OPS1 vehicles, 4 Albion Valkyries, 5 Maudslay Marathons, 4 second-hand German Henschels and 10 Isotta-Fraschini buses from Italy. By 1951 the Henschels and Isottas had been taken out of service.

    In 1947 Carris purchased two double-deck Leyland Titan PD1A buses (#201-202). Next came 84 AEC Regent Mark III double deckers and 28 Mark Vs. These were followed by 232 front-entrance Mark V models. The Mark Vs were finally withdrawn in 1991.

    In 1964/65 six UTIC-AEC U2006 coaches were acquired and in 1966 six more U2006s as well as 6 Guy Victory buses which arrived in 1967 and were operated as Daimlers. In addition, 6 AEC Reliance 2U2LA buses (fleet nos. 61-66) came in 1966 and 20 more Guy Victories (#67-86) arrived in 1967, the latter having only 18 seats. These (61-86) ran until the early 1990s. A programme of rebodying the single deck AEC Regal IIIs took place with some being converted to double deckers (#440-494). By 1968 the number of passengers using buses exceeded those using trams in Lisbon. the last Regal IIs were withdrawn in 1991.

    Fifty 79-seater double deck Daimler Fleetlines were ordered and delivered as #801-850 between 1967 and 1969. Five more dual door vehicles came in 1971 (#851-855). The Fleetlines ran the Linha Verde airport service in the 1980s and the last Fleetline was withdrawn in 1995.

    In 1974, 200 Volvo B59 buses were ordered comprising:

  • #1001-2000 which were bodied by Caetano (94 vehicles), CAMO (30) and UTIC Porto (76)

    A further order for Volvo B59s, in the new orange and mushroom livery, came in 1978/79, as follows:

  • CAMO bodies, ##1201-1214 and 1351-1370
  • Cateano bodies, #1301-1350
  • UTIC bodies, #1371-1400.

    At the same time (1978/79) Carris also acquired 100 MAN SL200 buses numbered 2001-2100, whose bodywork was provided equally by Caetano and UTIC. Next, in 1980, came 15 Magirus Deutz/Caetano coaches which were used on the airport service before being sold to RN in 1989.

    In the early 1980s the following buses were purchased:

  • #1301 (reused) to 1498 which were 198 Volvo B10R with CAMO bodies
  • #2101-2198 which were 98 MAN SL200 vehicles bodied by Salvador Caetano
  • #3001-3110 which were Caetano-bodied Iveco vehicles..

    No new buses were then acquired until late in 1990 when 40 MAN 10.150 midibuses, bodied by Caetano were purchased. Next, in 1991, came the first 20 of the fleet of Volvo B10M CAMO flexibuses. In late 1990 Carris received 39 MAN10150 HOCL midi buses (#2901-2940) which were being withdrawn by 2006. Renault (CAMO) minibuses were acquired in 1993 and, strangely, their routes included the wholly inappropriate airport service where their size made them impractical for laden air-travellers.

    By 2000, Carris had acquired:

  • Mercedes Benz O405 N2 low-floor buses, numbered 4101 to 4110, bodied by CAMO.
  • Mercedes Benz, as above, numbered 4111 to 4149, but constructed as Citaros.

    Early in the 21st century, Carris bought:

  • #1601-1640 Volvo B7L (CAMO) buses.
  • #1801-1820 Volvo B10L (CAMO) natural gas-powered buses.

    A huge fleet renewal, replacing the 1970s and 1980s vehicles, was signified by large orders in 2004 for the following, all delivered by mid-2006:

  • #2201-2310: MAN 18.310 vehicles by Caetanobus
  • #2401-2450: MAN 18.280 buses by Caetanobus
  • #2311-2348: MAN 18.310 vehicles with Marcopolo bodies
  • #2451-2500: MAN 18.280 buses (Marcopolo)
  • #1821-1840: Volvo B10NL natural-gas powered vehicles bodied by CAMO
  • #1701-1733: Volvo B7R (Marcopolo)
  • #201-240: Mercedes Benz 616CDI Super Sprinter (Mota bodies)
  • #4201-4267: Mercedes-Benz OC500lE (Mota) vehicles.

    Current Fleet

    The modern fleet is now universally running in a predominantly yellow livery with green trim which replaced the former orange and grey and an intermediate all-yellow livery. However, some buses wear all-over advertising livery. By the end of 2006 the programme of bus replacement has brought the age of the fleet down to an average of 6 years. Non-tourist services are now totally run by single-deck vehicles. Buses used since 1975 include the folowing::

  • #201-240: Mercedes 616CDI Sprinter (Mota body, delivered 2004)
  • #1001-1200: Volvo B59 (Caetano, CAMO or UTIC bodies, 1975)
  • #1201-1214: Volvo B59 (CAMO 1978-79)
  • #1301-1498: Volvo B10R (comprising 1301-1350 bodies by Caetano; 1351-1370 by CAMO; 1371-1400 by UTIC, all 1978/79 deliveries)
  • #1500-1589: Volvo B10M flexibuses, of which those up to and incl. 1530 had straight fronts and those after that were curved. All bodied by CAMO (1991-92).
  • #1601-1635: Volvo B7L (delivered 2000)
  • #1701-1735: Volvo B7R (Marcopolo, 2005)
  • #1801-1820: Volvo B10L (natural gas powered) (CAMO, 2001)
  • #1821-1840: Volvo B10L (natural gas powered) (CAMO, 2005)
  • #2001-2100: MAN SL200 (1979-80)
  • #2101-2198: MAN SL200 (Caetano -split screen, 1980-85)
  • #2201-2310: MAN 18.310 (Caetano City Gold, 2004-05)
  • #2311-2348: MAN 18.310 (Marcopolo 2004-05)
  • #2401-2450: MAN 18.280 (Caetano, 2005-06)
  • #2451-2500: MAN 18.280 (Marcopolo 2006)
  • #2901-2940 MAN 10.50 midibus (Caetano 1990-91)
  • #3001-3110: Iveco (Caetano, 1983-84, withdrawn by 2001)
  • #4001-4110: Mercedes Benz three-door (CAMO, 1997-98)
  • #4111-4149: Mercedes Benz (Citaro, 1999-2000)
  • #4201-4267: Mercedes OC500LE (Mota, 2005-06)

    In 2009 the standard bus fleet comprised:

  • 46 x Volvo B 10 R Camus (Camo) delivered 1982-84
  • 35 x Volvo B 7 L Camus V.L.2000 (Camo) delivered 2000-01
  • 33 x Volvo B 7 R LE Viale (Marcopolo) delivered 2005-06
  • 37 x Volvo B 10 L (GNC) City Bus LF (Camo) delivered 2001-05
  • 127 x MAN 18.310 HOCL-NL City Gold 2 KD (CaetanoBus) delivered 2004-05
  • 100 x MAN 18280 LOH 02 City Gold 2KD (Caetano Bus) delivered 2005-06
  • 109 x Mercedes-Benz O405 N2 Camus 1997-98
  • 29 x Mercedes-Benz O530 Citaro Citaro (EvoBus) delivered 2000
  • 20 x MAN 18.310 HOCL-NL GNC City Gold CC512 GNC (CaetanoBus) being delivered in 2009
  • On order Volvo B 7 R "LE" MK3

    The articulated fleet comprises:

  • 70 x Volvo B10M Cronus (Camo) delivered 1991-95
  • 20 X Mercedes-Benz O530 G Citaro Citaro G (EvoBus) delivered 2008

    The midi-bus fleet comprises:

  • 20 x MAN 14.240 HOCL NL Polis Midi (Irmãos Mota) delivered 2008-09

    The mini-bus fleet comprises:

  • 36 x Mercedes-Benz Sprinter 616Cdi Atomium (Irmãos Mota) delivered 2004

    The fleet for disabled users comprises:

  • 4 x Mercedes-Benz 412 D Auto Ribeiro delivered 1997-99
  • 2 x Iveco Daily 65C18CC Compa-PMR delivered 2009

    LEFT : The late 1990s yellow and green livery of Carris is seen here on a Volvo B10M articulated bus at Calvário. The curved-frontbody versions of CAMO bodywork on these vehicles are numbered 1531-89.

    RIGHT: MAN midibus 2914, bodied by Caetano. As can be seen (right), these vehicles are very rectangular in appearance and are numbered in the 2900 series. They are used on route 100 and on narrow-street routes such as the 37 to the castle. Carris has 39 MAN10150 HOCL midi buses (#2901-2940) but these are being withdrawn (2006).

    LEFT : Mercedes low-floor buses, numbered in the 4101 series. These are comfortable, air-conditioned vehicles. RIGHT: Volvo B10R #1326

    LEFT: Renault-engined minibuses bearing the 100 series of fleet numbers were used for several years on the Aerobus route to the airport, for which they were not the most suitable for a service where passengers are often loaded with luggage. They have now been replaced on that service by larger vehicles whilst the standard minibus is now the Mercedes 616 CDI Super Sprinter (Mota bodies), of which 40 are in service and numbered 201-240.

    RIGHT: Mercedes Citaro low-floor buses. These are air-conditioned vehicles and are used on routes such as 44 and 22. 39 of these O530 Mercedes-Benz Citario buses are currently used (#4111-4149).


    LEFT: Natural gas powered Volvo B10L bus, #1824 at Cais do Sodré, 2007.

    RIGHT: Mercedes 616 CDI Super Sprinter, #222 in Praça da Figueira (2007)

    LEFT: Bus 2498, a MAN 18.280 (Marcopolo 2006)

    RIGHT: 2009: the Aerobus

    Carris Services

    Route charts and timetables are also to be found at the Carris WWW site. Buses are well patronised and frequently filled to overflowing. However, the march of the private car has seen passengers carried by Carris decline from just over 300 million in 2002 to only 256.6 million in 2004.

    To help passengers electronic timer displays are now common at bus and tram stops, as seen right in summer 2003 at Areeiro. Carris runs about ninety routes and most have a 15 minute frequency or better. Further information on the company and its transport museum may be found on the companion page to this dedicated to Carris.

    Carristur: Tourist Bus Routes

    Left: Carristur open-top Volvo, June 2002. Right: a 2010 view in P. do Comércio.

    Open-top tourist buses have boomed since 2000 in Lisbon. As well as the Carristur services of the Lisbon transport operator Carris, services are also operated by CityLine and Cityrama amongst others. Carristur services include the Tagus Tour and the Olisipo Tour. The former operates (summer 2009) half-hourly and the latter hourly, both from the Praça do Comércio. The cost (2009) is €15. The Tagus service goes via the north of the city and Estrela to Belém, before returning along the coast to Lisbon; the latter goes to the Parque das Nações, the former Expo 98 site, at Oriente, across the north and west of Lisbon and back to its starting point. Carris also operates a four-hour Sintra tour in yellow single decker coaches labelled "Sightseeing" leaving at 2.30pm from P. Comércio and costing €35 (2009). This tour includes Colares, Cabo da Roca, Guincho, Estoril and Cascais as well as Sintra and its adjoining sights.

    CityLine services run from Pombal and go via the Pç. do Comércio to Belém and back, via Estrela.

    Leyland Fleetline open-top double-deckers, converted from enclosed vehicles operated many of these sightseeing services until c.2002. They were painted a bright yellow with stylised images of the tourist sights of Lisbon. In 2000 a number of converted Volvo B10R singledeckers were converted to open-top buses, (numbered in the 1480/1490 series). These in turn have been supplemented by Volvo B&rLE vehicles (#154-164) delivered from 2003 to 2006. On the eastern side of the Praça do Comércio, a tourist bogie tram (#10) is parked as a booking office/ information point for the tourist buses operated by Carristur.

    A MAN tourist midi-bus (July 2003).

    Carris Service Routes

    In autumn 2006, Carris made a radical change to its routes and, also, after many years of stability, to its route numbers. The heart of the new arrangements is the Rede 7 (Network 7) concept. In many cases the new route number is simply an old route with a 7 pre-fix but in some cases there has also been a significant route alteration accompanying the change of number. At the above time, Carris withdrew pre-purchased paper tickets for single journeys (BUC) and replaced them with the already existing Sete Colinas (Seven Hills) proximity card (akin to London's Oyster card). The 7 Colinas card can be loaded with an hourly-valid ticket which allows passengers to change buses without having to pay twice, as they formerly had to.

    The bus and tram services have also been classified according to colour-coded zones. These are denoted on the vehicle by a disk of the appropriate colour displayed in the windscreen or, on those vehicles with the latest type of digital destination display, by a coloured background to the route number. The colours denote the area of the city to which the bus travels.

    The codes are:

  • Pink: Ajuda and Belém
  • Blue: Benfica and Carnide
  • Green: Lumiar and Alvalade.
  • Red: Marvila and Olivais.
  • Orange: City centre area
  • Grey: Circular routes traversing various zones.

    The Rede 7 routes are:

  • 701: Charneca to Campo Ourique (Prazeres)
  • 708: Martim Moniz to Parque Nações Norte
  • 711: Praça do Comércio to Alto da Damaia
  • 713: Praça do Comércio to Estação de Campolide
  • 714: Praça da Figueira to Outurela
  • 718: ISEL to Amoreiras
  • 720: Picheleira to Calvário
  • 723: Desterro to Algés
  • 726: Sapadores to Pontinha Centro
  • 727: Estação Roma/Areeiro to Restelo
  • 729: Bairro Padre Cruz to Algés
  • 732: Hospital Sta Maria to Caselas
  • 738: Quinta dos Barros to Alto Sto. Amaro
  • 742: Bairo Madre de Deus to Ajuda/ Pólo Universitário
  • 746: Estação Santa Apolónia to Estação Damaia
  • 750: Estação Oriente to Algés
  • 751: Estação Campolide to Linda-a-Velha
  • 755: Poço do Bispo to Sete Rios
  • 759: Restauradores to Olivais Norte
  • 765: Colégio Militar Metro to Cemitério Benfica
  • 767: Campo Mártires da Pátria to Estação Damaia
  • 768: Cidade Universitária to Quinta Olival
  • 773: Rato to Alcântara
  • 777: Campo Grande Metro to Ameixoeira Metro
  • 790: Gomes Freire to Príncipe Real
  • 793: Marvila to Estação Roma/Areeiro
  • 794: Santos to Estação Oriente
  • 799: Colégio Militar Metro to Alfragide Norte

    Other routes include:

  • 2: Praça Comércio to Serafina
  • 10: ISEL to Praça do Chile
  • 21: Saldanha to Moscavide Centro
  • 31: Avenida José Malhoa to Moscavide Centro
  • 39: Marvila circular (Xabregas)
  • 40: ISEL to Saldanha
  • 71: Serafina circular (Estação Campolide)

    L to R: A Carris Volvo (#1326) in Pç. do Comércio, July 2003; a Carris Volvo flexibus also in Pç. do Comércio.


  • Tarifa de Bordo (On-Board Fare) These are single-journey tickets bought from drivers which cost more than using the Viva Viagem re-chargeable card,
  • BUC (Pre-Bought Tickets) Pre-bought single-journey tickets - these were withdrawn in Autumn 2006.

    Trolley Buses

    In late 2009 the town councils of Lisbon suburbs Amadora and Odivelas were planning a trolleybus (or "Metro on Tyres") route to link the 7.5km between the Lisbon Metro station at Amadora Este and the Reboleira transport interchange on the Lisbon to Sintra line.

    The route will terminate at the Dolce Vita Tejo shopping centre. The shopping centre operators will contribute four million euros to the project whose costs are estimated at nearly nine million euros for the first phase and a further sixteen for phase two.

    Other Lisbon Area Operators

    Details of other operators in the Lisbon area are to be found at the Lisbon Suburban Buses page.


    Faixa Bus has a great array of Portuguese bus pictures.

    Copyright: ©
    Compiled by John Laidlar