Innovation

A thousand good reasons to visit Bologna

City access solutions meet the mobility needs of both locals and tourists alike while making a contribution to funding municipal traffic infrastructures.

Bologna ©Thinkstock

Bologna – the home of tortellini and mortadella. Thanks to its rich cuisine, the city is often referred to as la grassa (The Fat). It’s also sometimes called la rossa (The Red) because of the red bricks used to construct the buildings as well as its two towers – “Torre Garisenda” and “Torre degli Asinelli” – which were built around 1300. Yet another name for the city is la dotta (The Learned) due to its renowned university. So there are quite a few good reasons to visit Bologna! Not only that, but the city boasts nearly 385,000 residents who need to get around their city. This means that it’s necessary to reconcile the mobility requirements of both locals and tourists in city centers that were not designed for modern traffic, and this is what the city access solution designed by Kapsch does.

Technology makes legal requirements user-friendly

The legal framework for these types of models has existed in Italy since the 1970s. Italy was one of the first countries in the world to put access regulations into place in the form of its “zona traffico limitato.” At first, implementation was relatively difficult. Access authorizations for vehicles had to be printed, barriers constructed and checkpoints monitored by police personnel. This involved a great deal of effort for city administrators, and the solutions were not particularly driver-friendly. Since the turn of the millennium, this has been gradually changing. Technology-assisted access control ensures a smooth flow of traffic in Italy’s cities. Some 270 municipalities have now installed such technology-assisted systems, many of which were implemented by Kapsch. Kapsch technology is in use in approximately 30% of Italian cities with a population of more than 100,000, including the capital city of Rome.

No stopping at barriers

The core of these solutions is automatic license plate recognition using video cameras. This ensures that vehicles with the proper authorization are able to simply pass through the access points to enter the respective “zona traffico limitato.” The system can also be set up to include rules based on the time of day, which allows traffic planners to respond quickly to changes. Different authorization levels can be defined for certain zones, and city toll collection systems with time-dependent or zone-dependent fees can be introduced.

Intelligent management and additional revenues

This type of intelligent traffic management not only meets the needs of both visitors and locals alike, but also positively impacts the environment. In Rome, for instance, the planned traffic management strategies are expected to reduce environmental pollution in the relevant areas by an average of 14%. Another welcome effect is the additional revenue this brings to the municipalities. Bologna’s solution generates revenues of approximately 30 million EUR per year, which can be used to fund the traffic infrastructure.

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