History of the Group

 1914


 1933


 1973


 1990


 1992 a 1995


 1999


 2002


 2009


 2010



Grupo Barraqueiro first started out as the Joaquim Jerónimo, Lda, company, commonly known as the Barraqueiro Company.

The name "Barraqueiro" came from the parents of Joaquim and Miguel Jerónimo, the two dynamic brothers who founded the company in 1914. João Jerónimo, a respected businessman from Malveira, and Isabel Jerónimo his wife, were once market stallholders carrying their stall (barraca) "on their backs". They became well known for this, and were nicknamed "Barraqueiro".

Joaquim Jerónimo purchased his first motor car on 3 October 1910, and started operating a passenger transportation service in 1915, using an Americana motorised bus. On 30 January 1933, the Joaquim Jerónimo Lda company was formerly founded. The company had 5 vehicles to transport passengers on routes between Malveira and Lisbon. In April 1967, when the company was purchased by the Pedrosa family, the fleet consisted of 19 buses. This number was increased soon afterwards by 3 AEC units purchased by Artur Pedrosa. The coachwork on these 3 units was performed by UTIC. The management of the company was passed on to a son of the family, Humberto Pedrosa, then 20 years of age, who led Grupo Barraqueiro through a period of growth around that company.

At the end of 1973, the Henrique Leonardo Mota, Lda. company was acquired, which led to an increase in the company's operational area, still anchored on routes between Lisbon, Loures, Malveira and Torres Vedras.

Given that the two companies were located in one of the capital's suburban areas that had grown most over the previous decades, and which did not possess a rail link, they rapidly developed regular routes there and intensified the lines frequency.

Alongside this growth, which was limited by being regulated to one single well-defined geographical area, the company started to undergo very strong business growth in the vehicle hire segment, hiring out buses to schools, factories and for other occasional services, which led to the company attaining a dominant position in the sector in the Lisbon region.

The group also achieved a position of leadership in the tourism sector, with the establishment of a new company in 1981, - Frota Azul, Lda. - operating a fleet of coaches for tourism purposes and ensuring a quality of service that led to the company being the preferred choice of the main national and foreign tourism operators and travel agencies.

This new company extended its activity to the Algarve, where, using its own premises, and later in conjunction with the Castelo & Caçorino, Lda company - subsequently taken over in 1990 - it covered the entire Barlavento Algarvio region; the current name of this company is Frota Azul Algarve, Lda.

The first group of companies, which would later become known as Grupo Barraqueiro, also acquired Esevel - Estação de Serviço Electro Veloz, Lda., to provide assistance and maintenance services to the group's fleet.

With the reprivatisation of the companies forming part of the former Rodoviária Nacional, the present Grupo Barraqueiro group was gradually established via the acquisition of shares by the group's holding company - the Joaquim Jerónimo, Lda company. - in all the public share offerings of the respective companies of Rodoviaria Nacional on the Lisbon Stock Market.

The process, which took place between 1992 and 1995, led to Grupo Barraqueiro becoming the dominant shareholder in Rodoviária do Algarve (presently known as EVA-Transportes, S.A.), Rodoviária do Alentejo S.A., Rodoviária da Estremadura S.A., Rodoviária de Lisboa S.A. and Rodoviária do Tejo, providing the group with clear leadership in the road transportation of passengers between Lisbon and the Algarve.

Along with a much needed image makeover and substantial investment in renewing the fleet, the geographical concentration of Grupo Barraqueiro has enabled the necessary reorganisation of the group companies to take place, through the suitable use of synergies and, consequently, the provision of a service of increased quality.

This policy was consolidated with the acquisition in 1996, of the Empresa Mafrense company. The commercial operations of this company liaised with those of other companies of the group has provided a more frequent and diversified service, which has had a direct and positive influence on the mobility, comfort and life quality of the local populations.

In 1997, the first railway franchise was opened to private initiative in Portugal, with the launch of the Invitation to Tender for the Tagus River Railway Crossing.

This fact constituted an important landmark in the diversification strategy which had been outlined by Grupo Barraqueiro. The franchise was awarded to Grupo Barraqueiro in 1998, and commercial operations commenced in the second half of 1999, through the new group company FERTAGUS, S.A..

1999 was also the year in which the Portuguese Government accepted bids for the International Invitation to Tender for the Design, Construction and Operation of the Metro Sul do Tejo network (MST).

The Grupo Barraqueiro submitted a tender to operate the concession, leading a consortium which also included the civil construction companies Teixeira Duarte, Mota-Engil and Sopol, with Siemens as the supplier of the rolling stock and, in consortium with Meci, as the supplier and installer of the electromechanical infrastructures

The invitation to tender process comprised two stages during 2000 and 2001, and it concluded in 2002, with the tender being awarded to this consortium, resulting in the award of the concession, which has a duration of 30 years.

The concession contract was signed on 30 July 2002, with the concession period commencing its countdown on 12 December of the same year.

The restructuring of the group's road transport companies commenced during 2002. This process included the incorporation of Frota Azul and the coach hire business unit of the Joaquim Jerónimo company into the Rodoviária da Estremadura company, which also altered its name to Barraqueiro Transportes.

At the same time, commercial operations in the southern Lisbon metropolitan area were rescaled, and the commercial operations of the Rodoviária do Alentejo company were reorientated to exclusively focus on the Alentejo region of Portugal.

In September 2003 Fertagus expanded its service for the first time and began to operate out of Roma-Areeiro station in Lisbon, which has a connection to Lisbon Metro’s red line.

A year later, in October 2004, an important extension to the line was made in the opposite direction stretching south, as far as the city of Setúbal.
Thus Fertagus begun to operate on a line that runs for 54 km from Roma-Areeiro in Lisbon to Setúbal, and became the most influential means of public transport on the Setúbal peninsula.

In May 2007 Metro Sul do Tejo begun the first phase of operation (Corroios – C. Piedade), and in December of that year the line was extended as far as the University.

Finally, in November 2008, the company began to operate the entire Metro Sul do Tejo network, made up of three lines (Corroios-Cacilhas, Corroios-Pragal e Cacilhas-University).

In 2009 as part of the ViaPORTO Consortium, the Barraqueiro Group bid for the Porto Metropolitan Area Light Railway Operating and Maintenance Contract and was successful.
The winning consortium includes not only the Barraqueiro Group but also Arriva, Keolis and Manvia.
This contract was awarded in January 2010, runs for five years (2010/2014), and is worth €170M.

In 2010 Fertagus, has seen its rail passenger operation for the North/South link extended to 31st December 2019. It will continue to provide a public service in the metropolitan area and as from next year it will receive no government subsidy.

In 2011, Barraqueiro group has started its internationalization, with a joint venture in the road passenger transport activity in Manaus, Brasil, threw a company named Vega Manaus. At the same time, has started a freight business operation in Luanda, Angola by a company called RodoAtlantic Angola.
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