The SilverBus shuttle service is already serving the senior residents in Marassi district of Genoa, Source: Genoa Municipality

Genoa has launched a free bus service tailored to seniors

Genoa has launched a free bus service tailored to seniors

SilverBus will first serve the elder residents of the Marassi and San Fruttuoso districts as a pilot project

Last week, the City of Genoa launched a pilot project called SilverBus – an on-call, free of charge, public transport service aimed at residents over the age of 65. It will give seniors the chance to reserve a trip from a departure to a destination stop and back at their convenience.

The service is aimed both at people in good physical shape and those who no longer travel alone by public transport. The idea is to give the elderly the freedom to carry out their normal errands and to create opportunities for recreation and socialization. 

The objective of the Silverbus project is, in fact, to encourage active ageing or to provide support for over 65s to better enjoy their free time, thus increasing their quality of life.

Genoa’s population has the highest median age among Italian cities

A lot of planning and preliminary research had gone into creating the SilverBus pilot. It is in fact a collaborative effort between the Municipality, the public transit operator AMT and the University of Genoa. The Ligurian capital has the highest proportion of elderly citizens compared to other large Italian cities. 28% of the population is over 65 years of age.

Researchers from the university surveyed the elderly residents to find out the places they visit most frequently. They also identified the districts of Marassi and San Fruttuoso as the ones having the highest concentration of seniors, so as a result, this is where the SilverBus pilot will be based first, until the end of the year.

Silverbus is a highly innovative on-call service, which does not replace but complements the current public transport offer. With that service, the journey takes place without transfers and interchanges because the system provides that once you get on the bus you arrive directly at the chosen destination. The passengers travel on a small bus, seated and assisted by a steward on board who welcomes and keeps them informed.

Each ride can be booked for one or more people, either by calling a dedicated phone line or using an app. It is possible to book one or more trips for the same day or for subsequent periods. Same-day rides must be booked at least 30 minutes prior to departure time.

The service has been described as something between a bus and a taxi by officials. After the first months, based on usage habits and seasonality, the time slots can be reshaped and rescheduled.



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