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Palermo is the only European city to offer car-sharing for disabled drivers

Palermo is the only European city to offer car-sharing for disabled drivers

The service is back on the market after cars seized by tax authorities have been released

Palermo, like many other European cities these days, offers its citizens a car-sharing service called Amigo Sharing. What makes it different from the other cities, however, is the fact that its authorities claim that this is the first and, so far, the only city on the continent to also offer a specialized branch of this service for disabled drivers.

The story gets even more interesting since this reminder came as part of a press release announcing that the service is back on the market. It turns out that the specially adapted cars were recently returned by the Sicilian tax authorities. There is no explanation, however, on why the vehicles had been seized in the first place.

It was also the first city in Italy to integrate car and bike-sharing services

Car sharing was introduced in Palermo following in the footsteps of other Italian cities and as a means to provide a low-emissions alternative to private car ownership. The car-sharing vehicles are allowed to enter traffic restriction zones thanks to their low-emissions models.

In December 2015, a bicycle-sharing service was also added as alternative mobility for the residents of the Sicilian city. Its popularity convinced the authorities to implement an integration between the car and bike-sharing systems to create an intermodal service. This innovation allowed users to take advantage of the two using the same membership card for cars and for bikes, rather than having to sign up for two separate services. Reportedly, it was also the first Italian city to implement this fusion.

Then there was the other first, having introduced the specially adapted vehicles so that people with limited mobility could also take advantage of the service, in true showmanship of inclusivity.

On the occasion of the service restoration, Ninni Gambino, councillor of the Association of spinal injuries thanked “all the competent bodies, first of all, the Mayor Leoluca Orlando, who have contributed to restoring the car-sharing cars equipped for the disabled. A fundamental service for those with limited mobility and one also linked to tourism - the pride of the city of Palermo, which boasts of being the only European municipality to provide this service”.

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