Member in the Spotlight: Minimetro, escalators & elevators for better transport in Perugia

Perugia is also leading city in Italy on electro-mobility. The city presented in November 2012 its “Electric mobility in Perugia” strategy and has recently committed with Enel (Italy’s largest power company) to run a pilot with installation of 28 additional public charging points for electric vehicles.


Minimetrò is an automated collective transport system covering a length of 3 kilometres, including a 1.5 kilometre viaduct that connects the city outskirts with the town's historical centre in less than 10 minutes. In 2001, the Perugia Municipality decided to hand over to Ateliers Jean Nouvel the architectural design for the Minimetrò project. The new line, its 7 stations and 2 end stations, Pian de Massiano and Pincetto, including a stop at Fontivegge (the city’s main train station), were inaugurate in 2008.

Minimetrò consists of 25 vehicles, 50 seats each. Vehicles do not have their own motor, they are equipped with rubber-tyred wheels running on a metal track. Wire rope systems are used to transmit power produced by an electric motor. The vehicles move in succession, with less than one minute frequency, thus the system is called "semi continuous".

The main idea behind Minimetrò was the need to reduce the amount of road traffic in the city, cut energy consumption and air pollution by providing incentives to pedestrian mobility. The Minimetrò project was born in April 1998 when the municipality of Perugia started Minimetro' S.p.A. a public company with the aim to plan, develop and manage a light rail transport system as an innovative and alternative solution to urban mobility. The line length was 3,863.20 meters and total cost of £ 156 billion Italian Lira. The first phase of the project from Pian di Massiano to Piazzale della Cupa (total cost £ 74,8 billion) received £ 37.4 billion 50% co-finance from the central government.

In April 1998 the first stretch of the line was extended from Piazzale della Cupa to Pincetto Centro in order to increase the usability of the service, and total costs updated: £ 114,8 billion, of which 60% financed by the national government (€35.573.551,21), and 40% private co-financing (€23.715.700,81).

In February 2001 the project was approved by the Italian Interministerial Committee for Economic Planning (CIPE). In October 2002 the final project was approved by Minimetrò S.p.A and city of Perugia for total € 60.716.516,77. After additional minor adjustments to the project the budget was raised to €71.006.000,00 and construction works started in November 2002.

The city has increased public transport trips by three million since 2008, largely thanks to the introduction of the innovative Minimetrò. The implementation of the Minimetrò is accompanied by traffic calming interventions, demand management and communication activities.

Escalators & elevators

The idea of installing a system of escalators and elevators in Perugia was born in the early '80s. The project aimed at connecting the upper part of the historic center with the new city outside the historic city walls.

The first escalator built connects the central square of Piazza Partigiani with Piazza Italia and is divided into several sections in order to follow the orography of the land. The escalators have different access points for users. This ambitious project was the chance to restore the remains of the Rocca Paolina and its ancient underground roads. The path offers to citizens and visitors an impressive journey in the hearth of the underground city and represents the main gateway to the upper part of the city center. The second stretch of escalators connecting Viale Pellini with Via dei Priori was a regeneration project of one of the finest medieval streets of the city. The third stretch connects Piazzale Europa - Piazzale Bellucci - Corso Cavour (Borgo XX giugno).

Thousands of people use escalators daily. As a matter of fact this new ‘transport system’ accounted for Perugia a concrete improvement in the accessibility to the historic town. In addition Perugia has developed a system of public elevators that connect Galleria Kennedy with the market (Pincetto) and the parking of the market with its terrace (Piazza Matteotti).

Escalators and elevators are free of charge and are managed by Umbria Mobilità’ the public transit authority in Umbria region.

“Electric mobility in Perugia” strategy

In the framework of its "Electric mobility in Perugia" strategy the city wants to encourage the use of electric vehicles to promote a new, sustainable and innovative urban mobility culture. The package of measures for the deployment electro-mobility was presented to citizens and the press in a special day devoted to e-mobility on 6 November 2012.

In the past years Perugia run “POSTALZEV” pilot, a research project co-financed by the Ministry of the Environment and Protection of Land and Sea, in cooperation with Poste Italiane (Italian Mail Service) with 40 electric vehicles integrated in their fleet. A public bike sharing scheme with pedelecs (electrically assisted bicycles) is being developed with 6 docking stations and charging points. The new partnership with Enel seeks to installing 28 charging points, testing new ways for optimizing electric recharge, analysis and monitoring of the initiative in order to promote new public private partnerships.

On 6 November the Mayor of the city Wladimiro Boccali inaugurated two additional charging points and the city will soon receive two electric cars to integrate in their public fleet. The automotive industry (Nissan, Renault, PSA Peugeot Citroen, Mercedes-Benz, Toyota, Piaggio) is partnering with Perugia to promote electro-mobility in the framework of the “Manifesto for Sustainable Mobility and Electric”.

The Manifesto written in collaboration with the Faculty of Engineering of the University of Perugia, and the city council invites all citizens, private and public stakeholders, including companies (banking, insurance, etc.), service providers and suppliers to use electric cars or electric vehicles for all urban and inter-urban trips (either vehicles in their own fleet or renting, on lease, etc.). with its Manifesto Perugia pledges:

  • To provide free access for electric vehicles to Low Emission Zones.
  • To provide discounted rates for parking of electric vehicles within the municipal area.
  • To ease loading and unloading goods on electric vehicles in parking bays.

Perugia and the CIVITAS Initiative

The city is partner in the CIVITAS RENAISSANCE project. Within CIVITAS Perugia will extend the vision developed in its SUMP into further areas through the implementation of an integrated package of urban transport measures. For more information on the measures implemented, please click here (in English).

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