Milan is the leading financial center and the most prosperous manufacturing and commercial city of Italy, as well as the most industrious and vital one. Milan ultimately became the heart behind the country’s extraordinary economic development in the 20th century; today it’s the most developed city in Italy and one of the most developed in Europe. In addition to being a center of production and exchange, Milan is a national focus of transportation. An extensive network of road and rail communications spreads toward the outlying areas, particularly toward the north, and 3 airports serve the city.
Public transport in Milan is very efficient, it operates an extensive system of bus, tramway, and subway routes (metro) throughout the urban area.
The Milan subway is made up of 5 lines and is the most extensive modern in Italy and one of Europe’s most modern metro systems.
The 5 metro lines in Milan are numbered and have various colors: Line M1 (red), Line M2 (green), Line M3 (yellow), Line M5 (purple) and Line M4 (blue) under construction (completion of the first lot of work scheduled for October 2022, fully concluded by 2024).
The M5 and M4 are a full automatic lines, have the most modern and technologic metro system all over Europe and are integrated with the regional trains. At the end of the construction of the M4 line Milan will have a total of 118 km of line and 136 stations.
The Milan tram network system consists of 18 lines that have been running since 1876, when they were pulled by horses, and represent one of the easiest and fastest ways to get around the city, thanks to its extensive network. The peculiar model of trams can also be seen in Lisbon, Oporto and San Francisco. San Francisco’s case is even more extraordinary since the American city bought their trams from Milan.
Milan has also over 132 local bus lines and a few trolleybus lines (electric buses that run with overhead wires), that represent one of the best ways to get around the city. Public transport is completed by taxis and all the sharing mobility and micro-mobility like cars, bikes and scooters.
Milan is a pioneer since it has always been very aware of innovation and the issue of protecting the environment, for this reason Milan has implemented one of the most comprehensive mobility plans in the world. The Italian capital of smart mobility actively encourages alternative transport solutions and new forms of mobility that promote the concept of sharing and a sustainable
• Limited Traffic Zone (ZTL or LEZ low emission zone) – Area C and Area B
Milan aspires to redefine the use of roads and public spaces, to increase non-polluting mobility (walking, cycling, soft mobility) and to develop areas that will allow commercial, recreational, cultural, and sporting developments, rediscovering the neighborhood dimension (the city within a walking distance of 15 minutes), making sure that every citizen has access to almost all services within that distance.
The objectives of the Milan Sustainable Urban Mobility Plan (SUMP) are as follows:
1. Sustainable mobility
2. Equity, safety, and social inclusion
3. Environmental quality
4. Innovation and economic efficiency
In 2012 the Municipality of Milan launched in 2012 “Area C”, a Limited Traffic Zone (ZTL) combined with a measure of congestion charge, active in the historic center of Milan with access restrictions for the most polluting vehicles. The general objective of the measure governing this area is to improve, through the establishment of a congestion charge, the quality of life, traffic congestion and the safety of those who live, work, study and visit the city.
In 2019 was introduced Area B, a Limited Traffic Zone (ZTL or LEZ low emission zone), that provides for the prohibition of access and circulation for the most polluting vehicles. It covers about 72% of the entire municipal territory of Milan and was created to introduce a model of progressive limitation of older and polluting vehicles, improving the air quality breathed by the citizens and reduce the negative effects on public health of air pollutants (PM10, NO2), as regulated by the European Union.
A system of control through electronic gates of the accesses to the Area B allows the management and the eventual administrative sanction to who doesn’t respect the defined rules.
In addition, Area B allows:
– access control of vehicles carrying dangerous goods in the densely populated urban centre;
– direct real-time tracking of the actual travel speeds of the radial access to the city, in order to improve the knowledge and reliability of the level of congestion of the urban road network.
• M4 development and opening
The importance of M4 development is that it will connect the historic center with the Eastern part of the city (Forlanini Area and Linate Airport) and with the Western part of the city (Lorenteggio area and San Cristoforo Station), integrating the urban transportation network with a faster, more efficient, and less polluting solution to travel. Also, the pivotal role of M4 is that it will pass through the city, producing easier ways to reach the three Milan-based airports, Linate, Malpensa, and Bergamo Orio al Serio. Indeed, the development of the “Segrate-Porta Est” station, still under construction, will connect the M4 to the high-speed railway systems, as well as the regional and local ones.
It is calculated that both lines M4 and M5 lines will:
· Reduce annual car trips by approximately 30 million.
· Produce a decrease in emissions of approximately 2%.
· Lead to a reduction in annual oil consumption of approximately 16,000,000 tons.
• The National Recovery and Resilience Plan (NRRP) funds to extend underground lines
Thanks to the National Recovery and Resilience Plan (NRRP) there are about 732 million for the City of Milan to enhance the service of the Milanese subways: these are three extensions already decided, funds for a maxi-deposit of ATM and for the project of a new line, the M6.
• Cycling lanes and sharing mobility
The development of sharing systems is one of the essential tools for achieving the goal of reducing the use of cars in the city that still has too many cars on the street, while at the same time ensuring the possibility of faster and easier movements for citizens. Together with public transport, sharing systems offer both Milanese and city users a valid, and sometimes even faster, alternative to motor vehicles. Currently, the sharing fleet of Milan has 22.000 bikes, 5250 scooters, 4373 mopeds, 2333 cars.
In addition, the development of bike lanes will be key to further enhance mobility sustainable movement and networks. There are 298 kilometers of cycle routes, which include cycle paths, bike lanes, and “zones 30” which are areas in which, due to speed mitigation, the coexistence of the vehicular and cycle path is facilitated. In 2022, another 75 km of cycle paths are planned.
Milan has been selected as one of the three leading cities that will introduce, in the context of local transport systems, the Mobility as a service (MaaS) paradigm thanks to the funding made available by the National Recovery and Resilience Plan (NRRP).
The MaaS is a new concept of mobility that provides for the integration of multiple public and private transport services (for example e-bikes, buses, car sharing, trains, taxis, airplanes, scooters), accessible to the user through a single digital channel.
The project presented by Milan was also selected for the experimentation of a “Living lab” (unique in Italy), that is a system that integrates research and innovation processes in real conditions.
This is an operational experimentation on an already active public transport lines, which can encourage the development of new services for citizens, improving the safety, reliability, and resilience of the TPL system. Milan has decided to implement this within the route of line 90-91 to achieve three strategic objectives: connectivity, intermodals and citizens’ needs. Along this line, technologies for autonomous driving will be tested, interchange systems in the MaaS perspective in some stations will be implemented.