It’s the end of an era for Florence’s historic bus service.
ATAF, or Azienda Tranviaria Automobilistica e Filoviaria, was established on October 25, 1945 to provide public transportation around Florence, moving from double-decker green buses to the distinctive orange vehicles. Now the signage has been taken down at the depot in viale dei Mille and the branding is being removed from the buses.
On October 31, management of Florence’s bus service will shift to Autolinee Toscane, which will be in charge of bus services throughout Tuscany.
As from November 1, all times and services are expected to remain unchanged. Tickets may be purchased digitally by sending a SMS stating “Firenze” to 488.01.05 or by using the Tabnet app downloadable from the App Store or Google Play. Travellers will still be able to purchase tickets from official ticket offices, machines and authorized retailers that display the Autolinee Toscane sticker. Existing tickets will no longer be valid after October 31, but refunds can be requested at Desks 8 and 9 at the Santa Maria Novella bus station ticket office. There’s a change for season ticket holders. From November 1, they will be required to have their Italian health card (tessera sanitaria) with them while travelling.
The change is not without controversy or challenges as commuters struggle to understand how the revised system will work and the new provider has been forced to rent 62 buses in order to maintain the service across the region.
More details can be found at www.at-bus.it.