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ITALY, Scandicci Hills (Florence)

"DRTs as feeder of tramway lines", held in Florence Metropolitan area.


In the area of the Scandicci hills ATAF will carry out a feasibility in order to investigate the possibility of setting up a FTS to satisfy internal low demand within this area and to act as a feeder with the new tramway lines connecting Scandicci with inner city Florence.

From February 14th 2010 the tramway Line T1 connecting the city centre of Scandicci to the central station of Santa Maria Novella in Florence is operating and the local public transport service into Scandicci areas has undergone considerable changes, but without relevant impacts on the framework of the transport service in the Scandicci hills area.

In the Flipper Project context, ATAF has taken the occasion to study the area of the Scandicci hills. The framework of the public transport service of entire south-western sector of the Florence Metropolitan Area has had many important modifications due to the start up of the new tramway line T1 that connects Scandicci to the Florence Santa Maria Novella railway station, very close to the Florence historical centre.

The Feasibility Study for the hilly area of Scandicci aims to provide an overall description of the accessibility and the mobility in the area in order to verify the possibility to set up a FTS in the area. The local objectives are reducing private traffic and pollution, optimizing the resources of public transport, improving the quality of life in the area in terms of accessibility to public transport service.


The area covered by FTS feasibility study is the portion of the hilly territory of the municipalities of Scandicci, Lastra a Signa and San Casciano in Val di Pesa, located in the south-western part of Florence Metropolitan Area. All the municipalities have their core in the flat part placed in the north of respective municipality, with some significant settlements located in the hilly area.


Most of the population is concentrated in the municipalities: Scandicci has 45.758 inhabitants (91,3% of the population), Lastra a Signa has 10.617 inhabitants (59,2% of the population) and finally San Casciano in Val di Pesa has 5.966 inhabitants (35,9% of the population). The remaining population, about 26% of the total, lives in hamlets, often with less than 100 inhabitants, or in scattered houses located in the hilly area.

Both territorial analysis and mobility offer represent the starting point for the feasibility study in that low demand areas not reached by public transport service or where public transport service doesn’t meet the demand mobility.


There are several alternatives for the private mobility in the study area that allow connections more or less rapid from Scandicci and Florence to surrounding areas and vice versa. The “Autostrada del sole” A1 runs along Scandicci and allows the access to the city and hills area both from the north through the tool gate Firenze Scandicci, reaching Scandicci Lastra a Signa and the north hilly area, either from the south through the tool gate Firenze Certosa, reaching the south hilly area. To the north of the area there is also the “Strada Grande Comunicazione (SGC) Firenze – PisaLivorno” allowing rapid transfers among the urban centres of Montelupo Fiorentino, Lastra a Signa e Scandicci. Moreover there are some roads for the displacements between neighbouring sites.


The public transport service in the hilly area is operated by Li-nea (transport company owned by ATAF at 33%) and it is consists of three lines – 61 62 and 63 – that link, along different routes, the central square of Scandicci with the main hilly hamlets. Moreover, the line 73 links Lastra a Signa railway station with some hamlets crossing the hilly area. Overall, in a working day there are 33 pairs of scheduled runs from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m.; approximately 30% of scheduled runs is planned for the educational service. The public transport service is carried out by two busses per day; school runs are carried out by additional busses in combined with entry and exit times of schools.


Moreover, from February 14th 2010 the tramway Line T1 is into operation. The local public transport service into Scandicci areas has undergone considerable changes, especially for the lines which connected directly Scandicci with the centre of Florence and at the current state have replaced only by tramway and the new service makes a feeder to the T1.


The knowledge of mobility demand and offer constitutes the main basis to formulate some hypothesis about FTS. For this reason, in June 2009 ATAF carried out the procedure of a phone survey campaign to collect data about mobility demand. Interviews were performed during whole day to get a complete sample in terms of gender, age, occupation etc. Totally 404 questionnaires was correctly filled.


The sample interviewed is predominantly composed of female (70%) aged over 61 years old (43%). According to the percentage of the sample group age, the prevailing employment state is “retired” (about 38%). Crossing the number of family members and the vehicles owned by each household results that the average number of cars and/or motorcycles per person is 1,04 per each household member. The number of cars owned by a family represents a very reliable indicator for the tendency of the people to use car for their movements. Families who own more that one car probably use only this transport mode in order to satisfy their mobility needs. On the other hand people who do not own any car are forced to use alternative modes such as public transports or other private modes such as motorbike or bike.


Moreover, 30% of respondents does not have the driving licence, so these people move themselves by other means, mostly by car as passenger and only few respondents use the city bus. So for about 60% of no licensed people mobility depends on the availability of some relative or friends. Furthermore another 3% of the sample, despite being in possession of driving license, doesn’t have a private means and so move himself by car as passenger, suburban bus or bicycle. 67% of the sample does not use public transport service, for the lack connections to the destination (34%) and the infrequent service (19%) and, in general, the service is unsuitable and uncomfortable. Another interesting aspect regards the inclination for using a flexible transport service: in case of transformation of the conventional service in on demand service, users should shift from 33% to 41%.


From the survey campaign on lines carried out in November 2008 emerges that, with the exception of the school runs, the service offered in the hilly area is not widely used (3 users per trip). From one hand the infrequent timetables and the other the plurality of routes make the service unattractive and poorly usable, except for those who use the public transport routinely to get to work or to school.


From the analysis of transport demand and offer emerges that against conspicuous investments of economic resources dovetails a users essentially represented by those who do systematic movements, with a wide prevalence of students, while in off peak hours the attendance is very insufficient. To sum up, we tried to satisfy a low and scattered demand in the territory approaching the service to users, but the consequence was the sparse timetable and the difficulties in the orientation of the sometime users.


So the current service is a sort of mid-way between a traditional service (with fixed routes and timetables) and on demand service (with no fixed routes and timetables). This ambivalence involves from one hand a waste of the resources as a result of empty runs without passengers, other hand a poor performance in terms of users which are overall very few. Consequently, the project hypothesis for the hilly area of Scandicci is to turn the current public transport service into a Flexible Transport Service, and in order to satisfy at best the internal demand the school trips have to be kept scheduled for the entire school year. The idea is to unify the service performed by lines 61, 62, 63 and 73 in on demand service that cover the area served by the current transport service, extending the area served and making better the available resources reducing the percentage of fixed costs using the same TDC already in operation for the other FTS in Florence metropolitan area. In this way it should be possible optimize available resources and at the same time meet more appropriately the users’ demand.


The model service assumed for this case is “many to many” characterized by a fixed number of stops and through paths that, on the basis of users demand, produce travels with always different timetable and routes in the operation period.


Obviously the resources, in terms of number of bus, service timetable, school service, have to be calibrated on the real users’ needs that are known by the analysis of data extracted from the software. Regarding the resources to invest in this project in terms of busses it can be expected, in the first time, the use of those already in operation for the current conventional service on lines; then on the basis of the real transport demand the resources may be changed.


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