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Genoa makes part of its public transit free to ride on

Genoa makes part of its public transit free to ride on

In a bid to reduce car traffic, it becomes the first Italian city to try this out

Since 1 December, all vertical transport and the subway in Genoa have been free to use. This is the first time a large Italian city is testing out such a measure and the goal here is to usher in a stronger sustainability mindset in mobility choices among the residents, urging them to opt for the city transit rather than their cars.

For now, this is an experimental phase, which will last until the end of March 2022. The Genoa Metro will be free of charge between 10 pm and 4 pm and between 8 pm and 10 pm. Bus transport is also being considered to be made free at certain times of the day. 

Speaking of vertical transport, Genoa's public transport also includes 17 lifts, which take commuters directly from the lower central part of the city to the higher-ground neighbourhoods. They, too, will be completely free (with no limits in hours), as will be the cog railway. 

Genoa is known for its hilly terrain

The city is characterized by densely populated districts located in hilly and peripheral areas. That is because the entire city lies in a narrow space between the sea and the Apennine Mountains, and its population also consists of a high number of ageing people. These specific mobility needs are thus satisfied thanks to particular services, of which vertical public transit forms a big part.

The start of the experiment is the first step in the revision of the city transit timetables, which can now take place thanks to the implementation of the so-called Home-Work Moving Plans developed by the municipality of Genoa and the main companies based in the city.

These Plans aim to provide flexible work hours with a view to reducing rush hours. This is expected to improve the distribution of passengers thus avoiding potential situations of overcrowding as required by anti-Covid restrictions. The experimental period - together with the possibility of verifying the exact number of passengers continuing to use their vehicles - will give the possibility to evaluate its effects and to understand how and whether it should be continued going forward.

This is a strong initiative, which tries to touch fundamental aspects of public transport. Understanding how the fee waiver can change habits and movements is essential for our ability to make decisions on the redesign of urban mobility,” explained Marco Beltrami, president of AMT (Genoa’s public transit operator).  

He continued: “This experiment, which can also be carried out because we now have adequate passenger detection technologies, is original and innovative and places AMT and the Municipality of Genoa at the forefront in the search for new models of sustainability and attractiveness of the cities".

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