Ferrara (Italy)

Ferrara is a city of 135,000 inhabitants, located in Emilia-Romagna, northern Italy, 50 km north of Bologna. It is the capital of the province of Ferrara and home to a famous university once attended by Nicolaus Copernicus (1473-1543). The city is also famous of the high share of bike use...

The city of Ferrara demonstrates a modal split of 27 percent cycling (urban area), 5 percent collective transport (buses and trains plus taxis) and 12 percent pedestrians, making a total of 44 percent non-motorized and public transport, and 56 percent motorized individual transport (cars, scooters and mopeds).

Ferrara’s strategic approach to transport management is currently defined by a sustainable urban transport policy, which was adopted in the 1980s. The main goals of the policy are to reduce the volume and speed of motorized vehicles with access to the town center; to consolidate the tradition of cycling in the city; to enhance social inclusion; and to promote clean vehicles. The strategy has resulted in a sustainable urban transport plan, the main targets of which include consolidating the modal share of cycling and obtaining a shift in the range of 2 percent of private motorized traffic towards alternative transport modes. With regard to safety concerns, no quantitative target has been fixed.

Progress has been good because of a series of comprehensive actions such as the BICIPLAN policy framework and PUT (local transport plan), and because of the mobility management structure. Achievements to date include innovative measures such as an access charging scheme (including tariffs for off-street private parking areas used by cars not owned by residents, and a variable charge payable by lorries and vans according to their degree of compliance with environmental standards etc.); AVI equipment to enforce access rules based on 11 electronic gates; a demand-responsive transport system (TAXI-BUS) that provides about 1 million bus-km/year delivering on-demand trips through a dedicated call centre; “BiciBus” initiatives (the grouping together of pupils to make the trip between home and school by bike, and a bus on which bikes can be loaded on a special bike rack); a new traffic control centre; and a public bike-sharing system, implemented in 2003.

Special emphasis on clean vehicles and alternative fuels has been demonstrated through the use of natural gas in buses covering 51.5 percent of the bus-km in the city. The Ferrara ACFT fleet also operates hybrid buses. Future plans include a fresh impetus for activities once the recently approved long-term transport plan comes into operation.
The city of Ferrara is working on the implementation of sustainable urban transport measures in cooperation with TPF (including ACFT, the public bus operator), a consortium of bus operators responsible for the public operation of urban and extra-urban bus services; Ferrara TUA, a company owned 100 percent by the municipality providing parking services (on-street tariff collection, off-street parking, enforcement) as well as the maintenance and operation of the rent-a-bike service; and FIAB, the local branch of the national Friends of the Bike NGO.

Summary finalized: June 2, 2009

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