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SATUO - Sistema Automático de Transporte Urbano de Oeiras
Above: The first three stations on the SATUO line, as depicted on publicity literature. SATUO (Sistema Automático de Transporte Urbano) is an automatic transport system, on whose first phase from Paço d'Arcos station, on the Cascais to Lisbon railway line, to Porto Salvo (Oeiras Parque shopping centre), work began in June 2002. Though scheduled to open in December 2003, it actually first ran in service on 7 June 2004. Though generally termed a monorail, the SATUO is cable-operated utilising two rails. The initial line is 1,150 metres long and climbs from Navegantes station, next to the Paco d'Arcos railway station, via Tapada do Mocho to Forum (Oeiras Parque).
Left: Navegantes station, 2008.
Eventually it is intended to link to Taguspark. Quinta da Fonte, Oeiras railway station and Cacilhas (not the same Cacilhas as is located opposite Lisbon, across the Tagus) will also be served, as will the former gunpowder factory at Barcarena. The initial 20M Euros cost has been entirely underwritten by the construction firm Teixeira Duarte, who own the Oeiras Parque development and who also own 49% of the monorail company, with Oeiras Council holding 51%.
The vehicle can travel at almost 40Km/h. It carries 8 seated and 71 standing and is driverless and made of non-combustible materials. The fare for the initial four-minute journey of 1.15km is €1 single (1.50 return) or 0.63 Euros if a book of 20 tickets is bought, compared with little more in cost for the far longer rail journey from Lisbon to Paço d'Arcos. Nevertheless, SATUO expected to carry 4,000 people a day in its first year from its new Navegantes station, adjacent to Paço de Arcos CP station, to Oeiras Parque via the stop at Tapada do Mocho. The current terminus is near Oeiras's new Parque dos Poetas (Poets' Park).
The line runs entirely on a purpose-built concrete viaduct and is cable operated and the construction was by Poma-Otis. Entry to the platforms is by automatic doors which only allow access when the vehicle has entered the station. The dwell time in each station is 30 seconds and frequency (2007) was every four minutes. Services run from 0800 till 0030 hours.
The second phase of the project will take the line from the existing terminus at the Estação do Fórum at Oeiras Parque via the Estação Multiusos to the Estação Lagoas. Phase two will add another 1,370 metres to the line.