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ITALY, Livorno

"Urban DRTs for serving historic centre"


The feasibility study in Livorno the area concerns the design of the most suitable flexible transport service for an Urban Quarter and the verification of the role of DRTs as feeder to the main PT lines.

ATL conducted the Feasibility Study in Goito District during one year, beginning in June 2009 and concluding in June 2010.

Goito district is located in the southern part of Livorno, with a surface of 1,21 km2, 12.683 inhabitants and a density of 10.475 inh/ km2.

As shown in figure below the area has a higher density in the peripheral part, and PT lines routes are only “tangent” to the district and do not pass through it. In particular, Line 1 runs along the coast, touching the western periphery of the district, and the same happens with Line 2, running on the north-eastern periphery. The stops of both lines are quite far from the inner part of the District. This problem makes travel by public transport even harder for those users with mobility problems.




All the above explained reasons point out that effective limits to service accessibility exist, thus a feasibility study is really useful indeed, in order to verify whether a Demand Responsive Transport service (DRTs) as a feeder to the main PT lines could be useful and suitable to users needs and sustainable from the costs point of view.

The study carried out has three main objectives:
1. Defining the most suitable Public Transport service schemes for improving and extending the inner center accessibility and reducing the environmental impacts;
2. Designing flexible transport service for a Urban District (Goito - Fabbricotti);
3. Verifying the role of a Demand Responsive Transport Service (DRTs) as feeder to the main PT lines.

The basis for the start up of the study was a deep analysis, an accurate collection of data on the PT network and the definition of the general O/D matrix and the related service offer.

In order to better identify users needs and characteristics a specific and targeted survey was carried out, and the relevant data elaborated, from October to December 2009.
The inhabitants of Goito district were surveyed: the investigation was carried out on 482 families (80% of the potentially interested to the new DRT service) which were contacted, for a total of 977 interviews. The first step consisted of a preliminary letter of announcement sent by ATL by post to the families for announcing: i) the study to be carried out by ATL about the possible introduction of a collective DRTs for integrating Goito area with the main bus lines; ii) the possibility of being contacted for a telephone survey organized by ATL to find out the mobility needs of the residents. Moreover, similar announcements were displayed at area bus stops (conventional PT lines). Following this starting phase, a 3 weeks survey campaign took place. The interviews were carried out basing on a specific form and collected data were then elaborated and analyzed.

Thanks to the results of the survey, ATL was then able to identify a series of significant indicators on users service needs and also on the conditions that could convince current non-users to shift towards PTs.  In particular, the survey pointed out that in general PT does not fulfill the expectations of the majority of the interviewees, which showed great appreciation for  the proposed new DRTs, thus fully confirming the validity of the DRT solution as a feeder to the main PT lines.

Based on the data collected and on the analysis of the survey results, some very useful indications on the “PT shifting bias” were obtained. In particular:
 855 * 0.492 = 421 users do not use PT at present;
 421 * 0.482 = 203 users would be likely to shift from private transports to PT if a the new DRTs would be introduced;
  (203/855) * 100 = 23.74 % reduction of private vehicles traffic in Goito area..

Thanks to this data, the new DRTs scenario was shaped and the O/D matrix was consequently updated.  Following and according to the elaboration and the analysis of data, ATL then started the final phase of the study, consisting of: service design, simulation of the new mobility scenarios in Goito area with consequent calibration of the model according to the current situation, environmental impacts analysis and resources and costs identification.

Of course not only users requirements were to be taken into account in service design, but also other constraints, such us traffic flows, conventional PT routes, the nature of the district and the wideness of the streets, were considered.

The new DRTs to be implemented will be designed as a feeder to the main conventional PT lines, with fixed pick-up points, flexible routes and timetables and will be addressed to all users. Both subscribers and occasional users will be able to use the new PRONTOBUS service even though, of course, some more options will be offered to subscribers. In particular:

  • OCCASIONAL USERS can book the service by phone (ATL toll free number) with a minimum advance of 45 minutes, and can use the conventional ATL urban network ticket (lasting 75 minutes from validation and costing €1,00);
  • SUBSCRIBERS can both reserve a single trip, following the same procedure mentioned above, or make a reservation for periodic trips. When booking this service,  with an advance of at least one day before the first trip, subscribers should indicate the duration of the period and the trip required. Of course, time and interchange node of each trip can change day by day.

Even though Livorno is not one of the FLIPPER pilot sites, it is very likely that in the future, of course depending on the limited resources available for PT operators, ATL will implement an experimental service, based on the Feasibility Study carried out, in order to verify in practice the real efficiency and appreciation of this new DRTs.



Aerial photograph of the study area


Livorno city Public Transport lines: Feasibility Study Area (yellow), electrical bus network operating in the city centre (box)


Vehicles operating current DRTs in Livorno


Travel Dispatch Center


These pages will be developed as the feasibility study progresses.

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