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Buses and Trams

Italy - Buses and Trams


Traveling in and around Italy by public bus is very easy. This is probably why the country’s bus service is widely used by both locals and expats. In Italy, the buses aren’t always cheaper than the train. However, people traveling to city centers and even small towns generally prefer taking a direct bus route from one point to another.

Italy does not have a national bus network; each region operates separate carriers. There are a few private companies that run a bus service across the country. Some of the bus operators are Sais Autoline, Sais Trasporti, Autoline Sena and Sitabus. A comprehensive list of additional bus and coach service operators in Italy can be accessed on http://www.busstation.net/index.phpeurope/westerneurope/italy/

In Rome, Roma servizi per la Mobilita is the municipal public transport agency that handles the programming of bus routes. The agency is also responsible for proving up-to-date information to users. Azienda Del Trasporto Autoferrotranviario del Commune di Roma (ATAC) is the company that looks after the rail and road transport across the city. This municipal public transport company operates most of the bus lines in the city. Roma TRL is a small private company that operates a few bus lines. Rome has a large bus network, which includes 2 trolleybus routes. A few more trolleybus lines are still under construction. Rome has a Meterbus Integrated Fare system, which allows commuters to travel on all company vehicles if they hold a valid ticket or pass. Meterbus tickets in Rome are available in different versions: BIT (the standard ticket) for €1.50, BIG (the 1-day ticket) for €6.00, BTI (the 3-day ticket) for €16.50 and CIS (the 7-day ticket) for €24.00.

Milan’s public transport service, including the urban bus, trolleybus and interurban bus, is managed by Azienda Trasporti Milanesi (ATM). There are 51 urban bus routes, which also cover the main tourist attractions in the city. The four trolleybuses operate on routes 90, 91, 92 and 93. The interurban bus route is mainly functional in the provinces of Lombardy. The bus schedules and time tables can be accessed through ATM’s website. Commuters in Milan are also known to use the Radiobus, which is more like a variable-route minibus service, running from 20:00 to 2:00. The services can be booked 3 days in advance by phone, fax, message, the internet or in person. The cut-off time is generally 18:00, on the day of the travel. However, commuters making phone reservations can call right up until the time of travel.

In Florence, the public bus service is managed by Azienda Trasporti Area Fiorentina (ATAF) and LI-NEA. The city buses are Orange or Purple and White. Most of the bus routes begin or terminate at the main train station, after covering the tourist spots. Commuters can buy an ordinary ticket for a single journey or multiple-ride tickets. Bus timetables and cost of tickets can be accessed on their website. Florence also has 4 minibus lines that cover the historic center. However, since the city is fairly small and compact, most people prefer walking to taking the bus.

Commuters in Venice use water buses or Vaporetti, operated by ACTV. These lines connect commuters to outlying islands like Lido, Murano, Torcello, Giudecca and Burano. Route maps, timetables and fares are available on their website. This information is also available on http://www.hellovenizia.com

In the bigger cities, most of the bus terminals (autostazione) are situated near train stations. In the smaller towns and villages, the buses often stop at the central square. The regional bus services usually cater to the schedules and requirements of local commuters. Some bus services also operate on the weekends and holidays

In most regions, bus tickets can be purchased in advance from ticket booths and dispensing machines at bus stations or underground stations. They are also available at tobacconists (tabaccio) and newsstands. All the tickets need to be validated once, before traveling for the first time.

The tram system in Italy is a bare leftover of what it once used to be; it is no longer used as the main mode of transport by everyday commuters. Rome has 6 running tram routes, operated by ATAC. Recently, eco-friendly trams have also been introduced to the system. Though the 6 routes serve all the areas in the city, most of the lines focus on eastern Rome. Tram services in Rome are operational from 05:30-24:00. Route maps can be accessed on http://www.atac.roma.it/files/doc.asp?r=386

Useful resources

ATAC (Rome)
Tel: 800 431 784 / +39 06 46951
URL: http://www.atacroma.it

ATM (Milan Public Transport)
Tel: 800 808 181, 800 016 857
Fax: +39 02 4803 3035
URL: http://www.atm.it

Radiobus (Milan Minibus Service)
Tel: +39 03 4803 4803

ATAF (Florence)
URL: http://www.ataf.net

ACTV (Venice Waterbus Service)
URL: http://www.actv.it

Sais Autoline
Tel: 800 211 020
URL: http://www.saisautoline.it

Sais Trasporti
Tel: +39 091 617 1141
URL: http://www.saistrasporti.it

Autoline Sena
Tel: +39 0861 199 1900
URL: http://www.sena.it

Sitabus
URL: http://www.sitabus.it


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