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GP: Car Sharing Rome - Italy PDF Print E-mail

Car Sharing - Rome

The main aim of the Roma Car Sharing service is to discourage the purchase of a second or third car per family offering an integrative service to Public Transport. In particular, in Rome many people use the private car less than 10.000 km per year, in some case paying high costs for garage, insurance and maintenance: car sharing is a right solution to save money and free up parking lots.

The car sharing trial started in March 2005 in Municipio Roma III, containing the larger general hospital (Policlinico Umberto I), the first University of Rome (La Sapienza) and embracing the two main Railway Stations of Rome (Termini and Tiburtina). This zone was selected because of its strong PT network: TP pass-holders residents have therefore been contacted and encouraged to subscribe. Car sharing vehicles are allowed to circulate in the interdict zones and have a lot of benefits, so as to make the scheme more attractive.

Objectives/ Innovative aspects

To change the current transportation habits, especially the way the car is used, creating an alternative to the purchase of the first/second car and indirectly enhancing the use of PT services.

The measures

Rome has one of the highest rates of car ownership in the world: 76 cars every 100 inhabitants.
Car sharing is a flexible mobility service, allowing the common use of a fleet of vehicles by a customer club.

Implementation status

After a preliminary study carried out in 2003, within the inner part of the city rail ring, a pilot project was chosen. The Borough III was selected as the ideal area to trial an experimental car sharing service. The Borough III has a strong underground and surface PT network, a large number of paid parking spaces and several important attractions: railway stations, scientific and university centres, Ministries, the general hospital (Policlinico), etc.

The Municipality of Rome has joined ICS (Iniziativa Car Sharing). This is national Agreement between Municipalities, promoted by the Ministry of Environment, to guarantee the coordinated and integrated management of local services and the application of established standards.

ATAC, the main Public Transport Operator, was commissioned to start up the car sharing service in collaboration with Legambiente (one of the most important environmental associations in Italy). These two organisations are in charge of the administration of the fleet and of the relationships between partners and suppliers, managing payments and customers (information, subscriptions, assistance, complaints). Car sharing consists of a car-fleet, available for rent, especially useful for ad-hoc journeys. The residents of Borough III who are TP pass-holders have been contacted by mail, and encouraged, through a special discount, to subscribe to the new car sharing service. In fact, this kind of user has been identified as the ideal target group for car sharing, representing an excellent example of multimodal mobility. In the first trial phase, started on 7th March 2005, only 200 applications for the service were accepted. Subscribers can only reserve the car by calling a call centre (in the future an on-line reservation service is foreseen), which also gives assistance in case of emergency. Different types of car are available in reserved garages and car parks, located in 7 parts of the zone.

The fleet initially consisted of 11 Euro3 compliance vehicles, some of which are marsh gas supplied. The reserved vehicle is available by swiping a smart card through a contactless reader located in the dashboard of the car, and repeating the procedure at the end of the journey. Automatically, the statistical information (departure and return time, distance in kilometres, duration of use), required to monitor and evaluate the service, will be registered. In addition to the annual membership fee, the user pays for the number of kilometres travelled and the duration of use. Car sharing vehicles are allowed to park free of charge in every car park of the city, included the park & ride zones. They can enter the LTZ (Limited Traffic Zone) and the preferential lanes as well as the future green corridors of mobility; furthermore, they are allowed to circulate in the interdict zones, also during the limited traffic days. All these benefits help to make the scheme more attractive to users.

Roma Car Sharing is one of the eight services operating in Italy under the Iniziativa Car Sharing (ICS) Association. The other services are in Bologne, Turin, Venice, Genoa, Florence, Modena and Rimini. The interoperability system allows the user of Rome to use the service in the other city by means a sole smart card and vice versa.

All the services operating under ICS use the same technology and national call centre located in Milan.

Implementation update

Up to now after seventeen months 290 subscribers have been registered and more that 860 joining demands to the service have been sent to ATAC, as the service manager.

The most part of the joining demands belong to undecided people coming form other districts of Rome that would like to use the service with parking lots closer to their houses.

The actual fleet of the service is composed of only 10 cars displayed in five parking lots:
· Piazza Bologna
· Via Lanciani
· Piazza Lecce
· Autorimessa privata in Via Morgagni,
· Autorimessa ATAC di via della Lega Lombarda.

These cars are all equipped with ABS system and Air conditioning and personalised in yellow colour. Three cars are GPN fuelled while the remaining cars are gasoline fuelled.

The fleet is allowed to:
· Free parking in fare zones and in parking located in intermodal nodes;
· access for free in the Limited Traffic Zone of Rome;
· access and circulate in preferential lanes for the Public Transport, as the same rules of taxi service;
· circulate during the “car free cities”.

Other main characteristics are the following ones:

· Service reserved to subscribers only
· Operating 24 hours to 24
· The reservation is possible via internet or national call centre only to the phone number 848-787787
· The minimum time use is 1 hours and the maximum time is up to 4 days
· An information call centre 800-201670 has been activated by ATAC to provide information about the service, the parking lots and how to subscribe to the service
· It is mandatory to leave the card at the end of the run in the same parking (in other words it is not possible to have one-way service).

(Expected) results

The interest of Public Administrations in car sharing depends on the ability of the schemes to reduce pollutant gas emissions.
Every car owner who becomes a car sharer reduces his costs by 30-50%, thanks to more efficient use of the vehicle and an increased use of PT.
It has been estimated that every shared car can reduce the number of private cars by 10, and that 54% of subscribers sells their second car, while 13% no longer purchase a first car.

Results from the first 16 months (March 2005 - June 2006)

Download Roma Car Sharing Statistics (3/05 - 6/06)

Short term perspective for the service in Rome

The first experimental phase finished on the 7th of March 2006. The actual subscribers and the citizens that provided the joining demand want to know how the service will evolve.

For the moment ATAC, the service manager, is continuing the experience in order to not interrupt the service to the city.

The City of Rome is willing to continue the experience and the last agreement with ATAC is to encourage the service by expanding the fleet and extent in territorial terms the service. An hypothesis coming from ATAC of a second experimental phase in order to better understand the supply model should be approved by the Town Council in Autumn allowing ATAC to purchase twenty new cars and in parallel to prepare a tender to move the service to a private company.
Three new districts in the central part of Rome will be interested by the extension of the service next year.
New funds are expected from the Rome Municipality and the Environmental Ministry dedicated to the car sharing and the ICS sponsorship will provide Rome new incentives for the introduction of hybrid cars in the fleet and for who wrecks his car and uses the car sharing.


Gentile Carlo
c a r l o . g e n t i l e @ a t a c . r o m a . i t

The above project is part of the CIVITAS - MIRACLES initiative.
CIVITAS - MIRACLES is a project that assembles four major European cities: Rome (Italy), Barcelona (Spain), Winchester (United Kingdom) and Cork (Ireland). The Miracles project answer the call of the European Commission for increasing the urban transport system's sustainability and efficiency through radical strategies for Clean Urban Transport.

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