Seven Minutes (in 2200 days!)

Shuttle buses to move over 5,000 commuters per hour

Editorial Staff
April 8, 2010

Once the new high-speed train (TAV) station designed by Norman Foster, located in the ex-Macelli area, is complete in 2016, it will be 1,300 meters away from the Santa Maria Novella train station. The city's two main transport hubs will be 7 minutes apart thanks to a new fleet of shuttle buses. With a maximum capacity of 400 passengers per shuttle bus, this new urban transport  network is expected to move some 5,000 commuters throughout the city each hour.


Officials from the Tuscan region, Italferr, Rfi, the city and province of Florence, Adf and the city are also discussing ways to extend the shuttle bus network to Peretola airport as well as to the other city train stations, the Tramvia lines and city parking lots used by commuters.


In the meantime, as of April 2, certain parking lot tickets are valid to ride Ataf buses. The double-duty tickets are the result of an accord between Ataf and Firenze Parcheggi to reduce motor vehicle traffic in the city. Private motorists who park their cars in the Alberti, Pieraccini, Oltrarno, Fortezza Fiera, Porta al Prato, Parterre, Sant'Ambrogio, platform 16 at Santa Maria Novella train station, Europa and Beccaria parking lots can use their tickets on Ataf buses. If the project proves successful after three months, the service will be extended to other parking lots.


In addition to these, local politicians have also been exploring transport solutions for two major upcoming infrastructure projects: the Tramvia lines 2 and 3 as well as for the new TAV line and station.


TAV tunnels. Construction of the two six-kilometer-by-20-meter tunnels (one in each direction) planned to connect Campo di Marte to the Castello Area along the new TAV line is set to begin in 2011 (with a one-year delay). The project, which would be the largest infrastructure project in Florence's recent history, is expected to take more than six years to complete.


The tunnels will be located 40 meters below the surface of Florence. It will take four years alone to complete the drilling for the two tunnels and another year to build the supports and electrical system; the drilling machine is expected clear between 16 to 18 meters a day.


The Foster-designed station will be completed a year after the tunnels.


More below the surface. Florence mayor Matteo Renzi recently said that the city is exploring more underground transportation solutions. To keep Piazza Duomo free of all kinds of traffic, he has proposed that a tunnel be constructed under the historic area of city for the Tramvia Line 2 route, which is to connect Peretola airport and Santa Maria Novella train station. Renzi suggests positioning a stop for Tramvia Line 2 under Piazza Repubblica.


The city is also considering the possibility of a new underground bypass highway in the Bagno a Ripoli area to connect the northern and southern areas of the city and reduce congestion. Administrators suggest that if it were a toll road, it would costs about 1.50 to 2 euro per vehicle. 

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