Steep steep GENOVA and public transit

At first glance, Genova may not seem like it has a lot of public transportation, but given the constraints they are forced to deal with, you have to give the city credit. So instead of giving them the award for the world’s shortest metro network, (well, the shortest that I am aware of anyway, 7 stations 5.5 km) I will instead give them an A for effort. Unlike the other five cities I am studying, Genova is really squeezed in between the mountains and the sea. According to ISTAT, (Italy’s statistics website)  Genova is all hills and mountains, no plains. I would guess less than 5% of Genova is flat, (much due to landfill and port activity). It is sort of like Oakland with maybe one-third of the flatlands, and with hills that look more like Hawaii-style mountains than the coastal range we have. Consequently all 600,000 people live in about 65 square kilometers compared to the 240 square kilometers that are in the city limits. That makes it much denser than Milano and Torino, not the other way around. At one point, the city usable width is only 0.5 kilometer, and given that the city has 33 km of coast, one can imagine the long skinny layout of the urbanized area.
The sea and harbor are almost always in view, given the narrowness of this strip of land and the topography sloping upwards that helps you to see over the land to the west. You are constantly aware of the maritime nature of the city, and can see the cruise ships of the Mediterranean Sea bringing in hordes of tourists, not to mention running into all the tourists in the tourist office, at the cathedral, on the streets and in the restaurants. There are of course many ferries going to and from Corsica, Marseilles, Sardigna, and other seaside towns.

AMT, the public transportation provider, operates two ferries, one to the airport, (land fill was apparently the best or only option to provide the flat areas needed for runways), and one to the Pegli neighborhood. Terrestrial public transportation is dependent on buses, regular and smaller sizes, trolley buses and the recent expansion (2004) of their Metro from 3 stations to the aforementioned 7 and soon to be nine. This helps many Genovese and tourists travel underground quickly without battling for the limited space on the surface. It is operated by the same agency as the buses and ferries, AMT, and the fares are not only coordinated, they are considered part of the same trip. One ticket  (E 1.2) will get you on the metro and onto a bus or vice versa for up to 90 minutes of travel. The entrance to the metro station has turnstyles but you validate your ticket before you go through using the same type of machine you find on the bus. Unless of course, you have one of the many kinds of passes and subscriptions available. My favorite was the 4-Euro 24 hour pass that came with a little book describing all the things to see in Genova. (I had to read about them since I didn’t have time to see any of them). If I had been with friends, we could have bought a 3-person pass for Euro 7. However if I lived there, my pass would probably be the monthly at Euro 36, which also includes the local trenitalia trains.

Given the topographical constraints, you might guess that Genova has a cable car or cog system and you would be right. There are three, one cog railway built in 1901, and two funicolare; the one I rode only has a top and a bottom, no stops along the way. It also had no driver, that is, it is totally automated, even though it is only a single track, and there is one spot in the middle that widens to two tracks so the car coming down the hill can pass the car going up the hill. And yes, you ride these with the same ticket within your 90 minutes. Or if you aren’t using the bus, you can buy a cheaper ticket at 0.7 just to ride these funicolare. The other  funicolare has 7 stops and the cog RR has 6. More about all 3 is pasted below in Italian/some translation.

But I will bet you cannot guess the 5th type of surface transportation. Think vertical, really vertical. Yes ascensore, lifts in England, elevators in America. They have ten elevators as public transportation which again you use your transit ticket to ride.

Now do you believe that Genova is really steep and really dense?

Click on Flicker for a album of more pictures of the funicolare, ascesore, and other public transportation shots.

One view of the Port of Genova

One view of the Port of Genova

Funicolare Zecca Righi
Orario di apertura e capacità: Tutti i giorni.06.40 – 24.00 Capacità: 150 persone
Frequenza e percorrenza: Frequenza:tra 15 e 20 minuti. Percorrenza: 12 minuti
Stazioni: 7 stazioni: Zecca, Carbonara, San Nicolò, Madonnetta, Preve, San Simone, Righi
Caratteristiche: E’ la più turistica delle funicolari, collega il centro città con il parco delle Mura, al Righi, che unisce le fortificazioni genovesi grazie ad una serie di sentieri panoramici.
Funicolare Sant’Anna (the one I rode)

Orario di apertura:  Tutti i giorni.07.00 – 00.30

Hours: everyday 7 am to 12:30 am

Capacità:30 persone
Frequenza e percorrenza: Frequenza: corse continuative Percorrenza: 2 minuti
Stazioni: 2 stazioni:via Bertani (corso Magenta), Portello
Caratteristiche: E’ la più antica delle funicolari, è entrata in servizio nel 1891 con il sistema di funzionamento ad acqua.
Ferrovia a cremagliera di Granarolo
Orario di apertura e capacità: Tutti i giorni. 06.07 – 23.40; Oggi la ferrovia fa servizio solo sul tratto inferiore Principe – via Bari. Capacità: 45 persone
Frequenza e percorrenza: Frequenza:tra 20 e 30 minuti. Percorrenza: 11 minuti
Stazioni: 6 stazioni:Principe (Salita San Rocco), Centurione, Bari, Cambiaso, Chiassaiuola,
Granarolo.Oggi sono aperte solo 3 stazioni: Principe, Centurione e Bari.
Caratteristiche: E’ una delle tranvie a dentiera più antiche d’Italia; è stata costruita nel 1901,  anno in cui ha iniziato il servizio al pubblico

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