Milan, Italy – Car sharing, scooter sharing and and bike sharing services and apps are available in Milan, making it one of the most sustainable cities in Italy offering environmentally friendly mobility and transportation services.

Smart mobility” means the optimization of transport and communications which consolidate new standards of sustainability, efficiency, safety and air quality. In a nutshell, it’s a made to measure way of public transportation for the citizens while at the same time creating a low impact on the environment. This concept is highly connected to the term “Smart City”, which goes beyond the use of digital technologies for better resource use and less emissions. It indicates a “more intelligent” urban transport network, upgraded water supply and waste disposal facilities as well as better ways to light and heat buildings. ‘Smart City’ and ‘Smart Mobility’ also imply an interactive city administration, safer public areas, and better service for citizens of all ages.

The following elements and characteristics are important in a city with smart mobility and services:

  1. Flexibility
  2. Efficiency
  3. Integration
  4. Clean technologies
  5. Security
  6. Accessibility
  7. Social benefits

For the past five years, Milan has been considered the smartest city in Italy. Milan earned this title of honor also because it is considered as one of the top global cities advancing in sustainable mobility. Milan has always been known for its congested traffic, but as developments in Smart Mobility improved, transportation from one end of the city to the other became easier. Services such as car, scooter and bicycle sharing allow green choices that considerer resources and savings. In fact, they offer different mobility solutions which encourage citizens to live a more sustainable way of life. Along with London, Hong Kong and Singapore, Milan is among the 17 metropolitan areas in the world redefining urban mobility through the levers of innovation, sustainability, and inter-urban mobility.

Here are some examples of Smart Mobility and some apps available for use in Milan:

Car Sharing in Milan

Use the Enjoy web or app to find available short-term use cars around the city. Share Now can be accessed by joining Car2Go or Drive Now.  Share Now headquarters are in Parking P2 of Linate Airport but cars can be found throughout the city.  Share‘nGo was the first Made in Italy electric car sharing company. From the Apps or the platform of each of these companies you can check the availability of the vehicles and where they are located.

Station-based services in Milan

Station-based services are locations where you can pick up a vehicle and then leave them when you are finished.  e-Vai is the only regional green mobility service and like Enjoy, the app provides a map of where you can find the stations or pick-up points. Moovit, another app aids users in finding public transportation to get to e-Vai cars: . Reviews from users were very positive also for Ubeeqo, and Refeel.

Motor scooter sharing in Milan

MiMoto was the first Made in Italy scooter service distinguished by electric sharing. Another scooter sharing service, eCooltra, launched for the first time in Barcelona and conquered Milan shortly after. Other scooter sharing apps and services around town are Zig Zag, GoVolt and CityScoot.

Bike Sharing in Milan

BikeMi is the original bike sharing service provided by ATM (Azienda Trasporti Milanese). On their main site or App. you can see in real-time how many free slots or where the closest bike station is. RideMovi is a 24-hour service or try Ofo Bike. Mobike is another service used in Milan. Once registered on Mobike, simply open the map to locate the bicycle closest to your position. Once you have chosen the one you want to use, just click on the button to book it: the bike will be unavailable to other users for a period of 15 minutes during which you can reach it. Scan the QR code on the handlebar to unlock the bike.

Electric Kick Scooters in Milan

Electric scooter / Photo by Aixk Lusiv

Electric kick scooters can be found in Milan on apps like Helbiz Go, Bit Mobility and Wind Mobility. Helbiz is the most popular and works like this:

– Download the App,
– Select the nearest scooter in your area
– Frame the QR code
– Unlock the scooter
– When you are finished, just park it an leave it

Public Transportation in Milan

Milan has invested considerably in public, sustainable mobility. It has four underground lines (Line M1 –red; Line M2 – green; Line M3 – yellow and Line M5 – purple) while a fifth is under construction. ATM (Azienda Trasporti Milanese) has started buying zero-emission vehicles and announced a farewell to diesel. The aim is a full transition to electric vehicles within the next 12 years. Milan will be one of the first cities in Italy and Europe to provide a fully electric public transport service. The entire fleet of public transportation will be electric, even lines serving the suburbs and outer areas of the metropolitan area. Using electric buses for local public transport not only means zero local pollutant emissions, but also signifies total, sustainable mobility in the city.

Photo by Andrea Ferrario
Photo by Julien Rocheblave

Furthermore, the Municipality of Milan is designing intelligent traffic lights for its trams: this project will make use of electronic sensors placed on the overhead contact line which will communicate the arrival of the vehicle to the traffic light system, guaranteeing precedence over car traffic.

In 2011, experimentation and testing of a similar system was implemented on lines 90 and 91 between Piola and Zara. The traffic light communicates with the trolleybus through the wireless Internet, “seeing” in real time the arrival of the vehicle and gives it priority. The aim is to reduce the travel time of bus routes.

Smart Parking in Milan

In addition, technological innovation has also caused a revolution in the world of parking through smart parking: it implies the use of technology to identify which spaces are occupied and which are available, and often to create a map of parking lots in real time. Some parking apps also provide simple payment for street parking.  The EasyPark app is an example of this.

In Milan we can also find a combination of mobility services. Mobility as a Service (MaaS) platforms are digital platforms that support end-to-end trip planning, electronic ticketing, and payment services across all modes of public and private transportation, helping the user find efficient and sustainable means of getting around town. Within these mobility solutions, or “bundles”, there may be different combinations of services, depending on the habits and needs of the individual user or a target group. The different services are offered as prepaid minutes of travel with different mobility services that the user utilizes, when necessary, much like a pre-paid minutes plan with a telephone provider.

What about you? How often do you use sustainable means of transportation and apps?

About the author

Sofia Vavassori

Sofia is a university student, studying tourism at IULM. She fell in love with fashion while working as a shop assistant in a clothing shop for the past 3 years and is fond of travel and sightseeing.  She’s curious and intrigued by the vast inspiration and beauty of the world and actively seeks the wisdom and knowledge which will help her grow and become her best self. Connect with Sofia on LinkedIn or follow her on Twitter.

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