Torino has many interesting aspects to its transportation setting, although it must be stated upfront that it is sometimes known as the “Detroit of Italy”. By this is meant that it is the motor capital of the country: the T in FIAT stands for Torino. Consequently, it is a little behind other cities when it comes to public transportation. Compared to the U.S., however, it has tons.
The mainstay of public transportation, run by GTT (Il Gruppo Torinese Trasporti) , are the 8 tram lines (100 km) and the 8o bus lines (1000 km). Trams have been carrying passengers since the horse-drawn trams of the 1870’s, electrification came in 1897. Various reorganizations and consolidations of competing companies occurred over the last 135 years, the last of which occurred in 2003, consolidating the urban, suburban, intercity and tourist-oriented transportation systems and the parking authority into the GTT. There are now 190 million passengers per year in Torino and the province.
The metro (subway/ underground), while considered for decades, was not funded until the late 1990’s and it opened February 5, 2006 just in time for the 2006 Winter Olympics. As of 2009, it is 9.6 km long and another 3.6 km miles are under construction; the extension will open in 2011 and there will be a total of 21 stations.
Torino is, of course, served by many train lines, ( class=”hiddenSpellError” pre=””>stazione ferroviarie) for intercity travel; the most well known stations are: Porta Nuova, the main station, Porta Susa and Lingotto, which is near the Olympic Village.
There are also many pedestrian-only streets within the historic center also known as the Area Romana, the Quadrilatero Romana, or the Roman square mile. Via Garibaldi extends from Piazza Castello to Piazza Statuto and according to the information plaque, it is the longest pedestrian-only street in Europe, (it appears to be about 1 km). There are numerous other pedestrian-only streets in the centro storic0, the historic city center, that intersect or are parallel to Via Garibaldi.
Another feature of Torino, which was implemented much more recently compared to many other Italian cities, is the ZTL , the limited traffic zone (zona di traffico limitato). Instituted in 1994, it restricts motor vehicle traffic from Monday to Friday. There are two levels, the first level, ZTL Centrale is primarily the historic city center, about (1 square km/mi). In this zone, only motor vehicles with permits can enter between 7:30 and 10:30 a.m. i.e. residents, disabled people, emergency vehicles and of course buses (and taxis (?). Since 2004 the zone has been electronically monitored with camera monitors all entrances into the area. The larger area, called ZTLFig _ZTLA & ZTLA, is closed from 7:30 am to 7:00 pm to the oldest and dirtiest vehicles, i.s. those that are rated by the EU as 0 or 1. This is described a little more on the blog about EU rules.
ZTL rules are described in detail on the city website but only in Italian.
In October 2009, the City decided that the two-zone system was confusing and that beginning in January 2010 there would be only one zone, the larger zone, and both rules will apply to the large zone.
Bicycle planning is also a relatively recent effort. According to the city’s bicycle map, planning efforts were ramped up in 2002, and the route-miles increased from 81 km to 106 km between 2001 and 2006, and a total of 208 km are planned. The number of daily or almost-daily year-round cyclists is estimated to be 8 % of the population, and another 7% ride in good weather seasons and 18 % ride only for sport or recreation.
More on the bicycle setting of Torino in another post.
Quote from the City website: Did you know that in Torino, every day, there are 2.6 million trips: half by car, one-quarter by public transit and the rest by walking or biking. This is why an efficient and fast mode like the metro is so important for reducing private traffic.
Sapete che a Torino, ogni class=”hiddenSpellError” pre=”ogni “>giorno, ci sono 2.600.000 spostamenti: metà con l’automobile, un quarto con i mezzi pubblici ed il resto a piedi o in bicicletta. Ecco perché un mezzo efficace e veloce come la metropolitana è così importante per ridurre il traffico privato.