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Case Study

How Optibus’ rapid scenario creation improves operational reaction time and decision-making for Horários do Funchal

Learn how Andreia Quintal, Operation Support Office Lead at Horários do Funchal, uses Optibus’ software to enhance operational efficiency, adaptability, and passenger satisfaction.

Tuesday, May 07, 2024

Founded in 1987, Horários do Funchal – Transportes Públicos, SA (HF) is the main public transportation operator in Funchal, the capital of Madeira, Portugal. Each year, about 17 million passengers use their services to travel across the city. At the helm of the Operation Support Office is Andreia Quintal, who plays a crucial role in ensuring the smooth operation of HF’s transportation services.

The Challenge: Prolonged Response Times and a Lack of Adaptability

Before switching to Optibus, HF encountered significant hurdles due to the rigid framework of an outdated legacy system they had in place. The system’s lack of flexibility made it difficult for Andreia and her team to respond promptly to passenger demands, disruptive weather conditions, and unexpected events. This inflexibility resulted in delayed situational response times, negatively impacting services, passenger satisfaction, and driver morale. The system’s slow pace of analyzing and enacting changes meant HF was often operating in a reactionary state, rather than a preventative one, leading to a stressful and strained work environment and dips in operational effectiveness and public confidence.

Horários do Funchal transports about 17 million passengers each year in Funchal, the capital of Madeira, Portugal.

A Transformative Shift with Optibus

Thanks to the vision of the Board of Directors, the introduction of Optibus’ Planning and Scheduling software introduced a new level of operational agility and decision-making. Equipped with the software’s rapid scenario creation, HF was better positioned to quickly evaluate various operational and service outcomes side-by-side and make informed decisions. 

The Results: Enhanced Efficiency and Passenger Experience

The adoption of Optibus not only improved team morale and fostered a healthier work atmosphere, it also led to tangible improvements in operational efficiency, resource allocation – especially vehicles and drivers – and passenger experience. 

With Optibus’ software in place, HF is now able to quickly adapt and respond to situations as they evolve, resulting in more reliable and efficient services for passengers. Moreover, HF has now access to a central repository for all operational data and with that has a much better understanding of their network as a whole. 

Leveraging the Optibus software, HF managed to create more reliable and efficient services for passengers.

Implementing Change with Optibus

Andreia leveraged Optibus’ comprehensive capabilities to overcome HF’s operational challenges. The software’s rapid scenario creation and analysis functions played a crucial role, enabling the team to envision and assess different operational scenarios effectively before their on-the-ground implementation. 


“Optibus has not just been a tool, but a catalyst for change within our organization,” Andreia stated, highlighting the software’s role in redefining HF’s operational strategy.

With insight into the best option for meeting their operational goals, Andreia could implement smarter changes swiftly and effectively, a crucial advantage during unpredictable events like weather disturbances due to storms on the island of Madeira or sudden shifts in passenger demand, mostly related to tourism. 

The seamless integration between Optibus and HF’s existing systems – including ticketing, and passenger information – created a streamlined workflow all the way from planning and scheduling to real-time operations. 

Optibus Calendar, in particular, proved to be a vital tool by providing a comprehensive overview of operational plans and adjustments, thus enhancing HF’s ability to forecast costs and adapt resources accordingly. This seamless integration between Optibus and HF’s existing systems facilitated a streamlined workflow, from planning and scheduling to real-time operations.

With the Optibus Calendar, users can easily view special service days, such as holidays, election days, and more.

Redefining Operational Excellence


HF has not only elevated its service quality but also set a new standard for operational excellence in public transportation. The strategic implementation of Optibus’ Planning and Scheduling software has transformed HF’s approach to managing its services, demonstrating the power of digital solutions in enhancing public transportation operations and decision-making.

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