Tag Archives: Torino

Public Transport – Public?

So the EU is bringing a lot of change to Europe besides the Euro,  even to Public Transportation; in fact is has already begun. Don’t quote me, but as I understand it, all and I mean ALL public transit operations contracts are to be competitively bid in the future. Even at the national level, there will no longer be national railway companies, at least not for long. The Italian law consenting to the EU “decree” was passed in 2001. It will take awhile to implement, obviously, but the first step is breaking out the many functions of these agencies. The former Italian national railway is now four different companies. Pretty soon the process will be to contract work out, essentially using RFPs and bids.

In Torino, I have just found out,  the reason GTT was formed was to separate the planning  functions, which will remain with public agencies or consortiums thereof,  from the operations. The planning function is now performed by AMM, a new consortium of public agencies in Piemonte. GTT operates the buses trams, interurban and local trains. The employees  at the former transit agency now either work for the operator GTT or the planning agency AMM.  Right now GTT is publicly owned .i.e owned by the city of Torino, but I don’t know how long that will last).  I am still not sure who owns the rolling stock: the city or  GTT (who is owned by the City).

I was so pleased with the integrated fare structures of all the many types of transit, and the many types of passes.  Maybe there are EU laws or national laws  (or regional laws) that will ensure that this remains the case in the future.  I was assured that public subsidy of public transit was still going to be required in the future. So that is not the issue. It is due to the EU vision of equal access to all markets.

I wonder if that will or does apply to public utilities, like water, sewage treatment, electricity, garbage collection and other necessary public services?

In sum, the concept of “privatizing public transit” is taking me by surprise. But maybe there is a big difference between “privatizing” it and making it subject to competitive bidding.

I will also find out what is happening in Stuttgart and Germany. Will tell you more when I know more.

Torino Parking & Parking Fees

Existing Public Parking

The GTT operates 50,000 parking spaces in 25 parking garages as well as all of the on-street parking. There are about seven other garages not managed by GTT which provide public parking.

All on-street parking in the central part of the city is controlled; areas that are open for public parking

are marked by blue rectangles while yellow means a restriction of some kind such as bus stop, handicapped parking or taxi.  Parking on-street outside of this  large area is free  and the roadway has no markings.  Where parking spaces are marked blue, a sign  indicates the cost and the time for which you must pay and the time limit, if any.  Fees vary from E 0.65 per hour to E 2.0 per hour and fees are higher the closer to the centro historico and in the ZTL. Residential parking permits are available for those who live surrounded by Blue Zoned on-street parking.

On-street Parking Pricing-Torino

On-street Parking Pricing-Torino

Parking passes can also be bought on a weekly and monthly basis.

All? or most of the parking garages are underground, these cost  E ____ per hour to ___ per hour.  Some parking garages are subscription only while the others are first-come first-served. Not sure who gets to subscribe. There are some tiny surface parking lots tucked in here and there, that also seem to be a combination of free and paid, but these are located outside the historic city center.

GTT and Torino have provided some park and ride lots at its mew metro stations but they haven’t caught on since the city is so small, people who choose to drive apparently will just drive all the way into town.

New payment system: Torino  is the first big Italian city to try a new system that uses cell phones to pay for parking. The following is from the city website, (as translated by me, so don’t quote me).

It is not  necessary to decide before how long to park; vouchers and  tickets are not used

In Turin it is now  possible  to pay for parking  in the  blue zone with a telephone call or with a simple sms.  A technologically advanced   transmits to  the parking- card with the cell phone –  facilitating the parking opertaions  to the all users.  The main advantage of the Telepark (the name of the system) is the fact that it is not  necessary to decide how long you want to park beforehand. Therefore you avoid:

* To pay for time that you do not use;

* Getting parkig tickets for expired time;

* Having to find the parking machine to buy a ticker and needing change or small monety to buy the ticker, or alternativley, buying the ticker in advance.

Turin is the first large town   in Italy to adopt this system of payment of the parking.  The Telepark will be valid for all the 55,000 spaces in the blue zones, subdivided into the  five subareas (A,B,C,D,E) with different  fees.

The mechanism is the use of the “parking card”.  The first step consists in obtaining the  so-called “kit di prova” at a  price of 2.5 euro, through which one can test the service (the cost is therefore entirely spendable in parking).  In the kit in included a card with the ID code that always must be left  visible through the windshield of  the car.

Parking Requirements for New Development

All new development must provide a minimum amount of parking and it is divided into private  and public. Private parking spaces are for the use of that particular development, e.g.  residents or office workers and is typically underground.  Public spaces are given to the city to manage along with all the other parking spaces they manage.  The city would then decide what fee if any is charged to the public. The public parking is to accommodate the visitor type uses to the project site; including shoppers to the commercial areas, visitors to the residents of the building, etc.

The federal government establishes a minimum rate for land uses, regions are allowed to increase this ie establish new minimum , and cities are also permitted to increase the rate. The parking rates in Torino have not changed since 1977, and are essentially the region of Piemonte’s rates.

These parking ratios are coupled with the law that mandates “public open space”, however the public open space is also strictly defined into 4 categories, one of which is “public parking”.

Sample parking ratios are:

Transit Passes Torino-Style

So I picked up a little brochure to see if I could buy a weekly pass or monthly pass to save on paying 1 Euro for each bus/tram trip. The answer was Certo, Si! Briefly let me count the ways:

  1. Daily or single rides

  • 1 ride=  € 1
  • 15 rides= € 13.5
  • daily pass= € 3.5
  • shopping pass =€2 (valid for four hours between 9:00 am and 8:00 pm)
  • travel together pass =€ 4.4 (valid for up to 4 people on weekends and holidays from 2:30 pm to 8:00 pm)

2a. Weekly pass

  • Ordinary =€9.5 Impersonal  -valid till next Sunday (see next line for definition of impersonal)

2b. Monthly pass

  • Ordinary impersonal= €35 (This means you can share with others, one person at a time, of course)
  • Ordinary personal= €32  (for only one person, name and ID)
  • children under 10= €12
  • students until age 25=  €18
  • senior citizen age 60+ = € 18
  • senior citizens after 9:00 am =€15

3.  Annual pass

  • Ordinary impersonal =€330 ( can share with others, only one person at a time, of course)
  • Ordinary personal= €290  (has your photo, I think)
  • children under 10= €100
  • students until age 25=  €194/170
  • 10 month student pass= €170/153
  • senior citizen age 60+ = € 145
  • senior citizens after 9:00 am= €130

4. Special passes for Torino residents

  • pass for the disabled (monthly – two types)
  • for the unemployed ( trimester- two types)

5. There are four more pages explaining the fares for the suburban lines  with and without the urban routes

If nothing else, this demonstrates  how a much thought is given to fare pricing and making it work for all the residents.  The numerous fare options that include urban and suburban buses (and two local train lines that GTT operates, not the national railway) shows how a single operator can  really make it affordable to ride transit. I love the travel together on weekends pass, as well as recognizing that you can be a student past the age of 18! until 25! And the shopping and the sr citizen after 9:00 am pass.

Contrast this with the Bay Area in  California:

There are no options for monthly or yearly passes that would include buses, trams,  metro/subway and train because right now in the Bay Area we have 25 +/- different operators and no fare coordination.

Student passes stop at age 18. The discount varies widely from operator to operator.  However BART youth cards are only good for the school trip, not other trips. College-student-age transit passes exist where the university and the local transit agency get together and charge extra student fees to fund them, such as UC Berkeley and AC Transit.   I’ve never heard of a junior pass for kids under 10. Typically in the US, children under age 5 ride free with their parent, in Torino it’s children under one meter in height.

In California,  to take a typical ride, I would have to pay:

$1.75 to take AC transit 2 or 3 miles to the BART station;

$3.75 to take BART  to San Francisco;

$1.75 to take MUNI within San Francisco.

Total cost $7.25

To be fair, I forgot to mention the  25 cents (not %,  25 cents, one quarter)  discount on AC Transit with a BART transfer, which I won’t have on my way to the BART station, since I get it when I leave the BART station.

A  transit trip within one agency can be just as aggravating; at VTA:

$1.75 to take the bus to a light rail station

another $1.75 to take light rail

Then of course, another $3 to $6 to take Caltrain,  who is a different operator.


Milan has very similar fare structures, with many  options for tickets and passes to  travel outside the city into the neighboring municipalities, call the Hinterlands. Passes are available weekly ,monthly and annually for regular fare, students and seniors.

The ticket options for only within the city are listed below, I have only translated the name of the pass so far.  the interurban  and regional ticket options and the passes are too numerous to list.

Biglietto ordinario : Ordinary ticket

Tariffa: 1,00 €
Validità: 75 minuti dalla convalida; consente un unico accesso in metropolitana, ferrovie e Passante Ferroviario

Carnet di 10 viaggi  – ten trip pass

Tariffa: 9,20 €
Validità: 10 viaggi di 75 minuti ciascuno dalla convalida; ogni viaggio consente un unico accesso in metropolitana, ferrovie e Passante Ferroviario. Il carnet non può essere utilizzato da più persone contemporaneamente

BI4 Biglietto integrato per 4 viaggi   – 4 trip pass

Tariffa: 4,00 €
Validità: 4 viaggi di 75 minuti ciascuno dalla convalida; ogni viaggio consente un unico accesso in metropolitana, ferrovie e Passante Ferroviario. Solo sulle linee ATM, nei giorni festivi vale per un numero illimitato di viaggi fino fino “>alle 13.00 se convalidato convalidato “>entro tale orario, e tutte le sere fino a fine servizio se convalidato dopo le 20.00

Abbonamento giornaliero – Day Pass

Tariffa: 3,00 €
Validità: 24 ore dalla convalida senza limite al numero di viaggi

Abbonamento bigiornaliero -Two Day -Pass

Tariffa: 5,50 €
Validità: 48 ore dalla convalida senza limite al numero di viaggi

Settimanale 2×6 – Weekly pass

Tariffa: 6,70 €
Validità: 2 viaggi giornalieri di 75 minuti ciascuno dalla convalida, per 6 giorni della stessa settimana in cui è stata effettuata la prima convalida; ogni viaggio consente un unico accesso in metropolitana, ferrovie e Passante Ferroviario.
Puoi utilizzare il 2×6 anche la domenica se, durante la settimana, non hai hai “>utilizzato entrambi i viaggi di una giornata; in questo caso, in fase di controllo, insieme alla matrice devi mostrare anche il biglietto, privo di timbrature, del giorno in cui non hai viaggiato

Biglietto serale-  Evening Pass after 8:00 pm

Tariffa: 2,00 €
Validità: dalle 20.00 a fine servizio del giorno di convalida, senza limiti di viaggi sulla rete urbana e sui tratti in città di tutte le linee interurbane ATM.

Biglietto per bagaglio

Tariffa: 1,00 €
Validità: 75 minuti dalla convalida; vale per il trasporto di un bagaglio per il quale è previsto il pagamento del biglietto. Sulla rete urbana può essere sostituito da un biglietto ordinario urbano.
Va convalidato all’inizio del viaggio e, in caso di controllo, lo devi mostrare insieme al tuo documento di viaggio.

About Torino’s Transportation

View of Torino from the Mole

View of Torino from the Mole

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.

The 2 ZTL zones

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.