Rodoviária Nacional

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Rodoviária Nacional was the state-owned bus network in Portugal, resulting from the nationalization, in 1975, of the largest bus operators in the country, basically the criteria used for nationalization was the fleet size : more than 60 vehicles.


The services were organized in 9 "Centros de Exploração de Passageiros" (CEP), or Passenger Managing Centres, according to the different regions.
In 1979 CEP 10 was created for managing connections between Lisbon and most of the cities of the country (similar to the nowadays' "Rede de Expressos", despite the term "Expresso" only have to be appeared in 1983, on the Rodoviária Nacional services), as well as the Torres Vedras and Vila Franca de Xira corridors, the last two belonged to CEP 6. In 1984, the CEP 5 became the DGRL ("Direcção Regional da Grande Lisboa", or Regional Management of Greater Lisbon) split in 4 "Centros Operacionais de Passageiros" (COP), Passenger Operational Centres.

A cargo section was also created, operating under different names, such as RNTrans.


This division was created to manage other activities from nationalized companies, such as the floriculture business of Arboricultora (from Caneças), as well as to manage the workshops.


The coach fleet was numbered with four digits, corresponding the first to the CEP which the vehicle was affected (if the vehicle belonged to CEP 8, its fleet number would be 8xxx). For CEP 10 fleet, the first digit was a 0 (0xxx), the DGRL was three digit, preceded by the letter L (Lisboa) or CS (Cascais and Sintra) (L-xxx, CS-xxx), with the numbering strictly distributed by chassis manufacturer.

The RNIP[edit]

In order to privatize the operator in 1991 RN became RNIP ("Rodoviária Nacional Investimentos e Participações" : RN Investments and Participations), the CEP's were renamed as:

CEP1 - Rodoviária de Entre Douro e Minho (REDM) - managing Northwest of Portugal, from Braga.

CEP2 - Rodoviária da Beira Litoral (RBL) - managing the coast side of central Portugal, from Coimbra.

CEP3 - Rodoviária da Beira Interior (RBI) - managing the inland central Portugal, from Castelo Branco.

CEP4 - Rodoviária do Tejo - managing the regions of middle Tagus (Santarém, Torres Novas, Abrantes, Tomar), Fátima, Leiria and West Region (Caldas da Rainha, Peniche, Alcobaça) from Torres novas.

DGRL (former CEP 5) - Rodoviária de Lisboa (RL) - managing the Lisbon Greater Metropolitan area, the north bank of Tagus (Loures, Alverca, Odivelas, Amadora, Oeiras, Sintra and Cascais) from Lisbon (Av. do Brasil).

CEP7 - Rodoviária Sul do Tejo (RST) - managing the south bank of Tagus of Lisbon area (Almada, Seixal) from Laranjeiro.

CEP8 - Rodviária do Alentejo - managing the whole Alentejo and most of Ribatejo, from Azeitão.

CEP9 - Rodoviária do Algarve - managing the Algarve region, from Faro.

CEP10 (former CEP 6) - Rodoviária da Estremadura, managing Vila Franca and Torres Vedras corridors and express services, from Lisboa (Av. Casal Ribeiro).


In 1992, the privatization process started, with Rodoviária do Algarve being acquired by Barraqueiro Transportes, REDM by Resende, Caima and Barraqueiro, as well as the cargo sections (that became known as Rodocargo and Transporta).

In 1993, RBL by Barraqueiro, Rodoviária do Tejo by REDM, Joalto and AVIC, RBI by Joalto and Rodoviária do Alentejo by Barraqueiro and Belo family (that recovered their nationalized company).

In 1994, it's the turn of Rodoviária da Estremadura owned by Barraqueiro.

Finally in 1995 Rodoviária Sul do Tejo and RL are privatized, the last one is split in 3 companies: Vimeca (bought by Brazilian capitals) that explore the Amadora and Queluz corridors; Stagecoach takes the Cascais and Sintra area; RL itself (Barraqueiro Tranpostes) manage the Odivelas, Loures, Santa Iria de Azoia (pt) corridors. RN and RNIP went into history.

Caima, sell in 2002 to transdev REDM AND RBL.

Post Privatization[edit]

Rodoviária do Algarve was immediately renamed as EVA, remembering the nationalizad Empresa de Viação Algarvia, belongs to Barraqueiro group.

Rodoviária Sul do Tejo became, in late 90's, TST - Transportes Sul do Tejo. Since 2003 is owned by Arriva group, which entered in the Portuguese market in 2000 owning some medium-sized operators in the northwest of Portugal.

Rodoviária do Alentejo became Belos Alentejana, Belos Ribatejana and Belos Setubalense, after Belo family left the consorcy with Barraqueiro (in the early 2000s) Belos Alentajana became again Rodoviária do Alentejo (branded on its fleet simply as Rodoviária), Belos Ribatejana became simply Ribatejana and Setubalense operations are now part of TST.

Rodoviária da Estremadura, or simply Estremadura, is now a brand for excursion or hiring services from Barraqueiro group (along with the brand Barraqueiro itself), with some coaches affected to Rede de Expressos. The corridors were renamed as Boa Viagem (Vila Franca de Xira, Alenquer, Sobral de Monte Agraço, Arruda dos Vinhos), EVM - Mafrense (Mafra and Ericeira), Barraqueiro Oeste (Torres Vedras, Lourinhã, Cadaval) and Barraqueiro, for Frielas operations.

REDM and RBL operations owned by Caima (Neves family), were taken by Transdev, known respectively as Transdev Norte and Transdev Centro.

RBI brand still exists and is owned by Joalto Group, who sold their operations to Transdev in 2010.

Stagecoach sold its operations in the early 2000s and a new operator was born, ScottUrb.