In 2006, Bologna was the first city in Italy to implement a road pricing policy based on an intelligent transport system (ITS). The revision of the system will finalise the strategy as part of the city’s urban traffic master plan. The system will focus on the “real” external costs of journeys made by private car and make regulations and access control more flexible accordingly.
The main objectives of the measure are to:
- Guarantee flexibility in regulations and access control;
- Improve access policy of the limited traffic zone (LTZ) based on economic incentives or disincentives and the support of electronic instruments;
- Demonstrate the effectiveness of urban mobility management through regulatory measures;
- Introduce a semi-pedestrian area within the LTZ;
- Promote public transport, cycling and walking; and
- Reduce polluting emissions in the urban area.
As part of CIVITAS MIMOSA, Bologna conducted a study to develop an IT system that can identify and distinguish vehicles according to different parameters such as vehicle models, size and emissions. Such a study and the implementation of a road pricing system based on such a system are an innovative endeavour in Europe’s urban transport arena.
Before MIMOSA, access to the limited traffic zone has largely been based on an authorisation process that grants access to public transport operators, residents and freight deliveries. To make the system more flexible, the road pricing scheme foresees the possibility for occasional users to enter the LTZ by paying an access toll.