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Drafting the operating programme of the new Sondrio and Valchiavenna public transport network

  • Mobility
  • Visual design

Redefining public transport networks.

Drafting the new Sondrio Urban Traffic Plan is part of a wider process that aims at new mobility planning, especially provincial public transport, in accordance with a configuration respecting the latest criteria on transport service organisation and protection of environmental and social sustainability.

In this context, NET Engineering worked with the Sondrio Basin Local Public Transport Agency in devising and creating two plans that completely redrew local public transport (LPT) in Sondrio on one hand and Valchiavenna on the other.

The main challenge was linked to where the project had to operate – the administrative centre of a mountain province of 21,200 inhabitants and an extensive Alpine geographic region, Valchiavenna, consisting of three valleys, 12 municipalities and inhabited by about 30,000 people.

The primary role of public transport in mountainous areas is to ensure minimum services (for going to health, scholastic and work centres) for residents, especially in the most fragile sectors of the population, and to support tourism in both summer and winter months. However, over the years, the LPT services in Sondrio (urban) and Valchiavenna (suburban) had tried to satisfy the needs of the local user responding to the demands of specific users and the yearly scholastic variations, at the same time losing attraction for both tourists and other potential users.

Therefore, intervention was required to start modernisation of local public transport while taking account of the features of the area, the people living in it and the people visiting it. A proposal defining a new LPT operating programme was drafted starting from the analysis of the context and respecting environmental, social and economic sustainability principles and some specific criteria – clock-face timetable, reinforcement during rush hour, ‘pendulum’ routes and consistency with the Sondrio General Urban Traffic Plan. In addition, rendezvous with trains to and from Milan were also programmed to favour intermodality and offer a transport service perceived by the user as unique even though provided by different vehicles, connecting local journeys to the regional administrative centre.

NET Engineering also worked with the Sondrio Basin Local Public Transport Agency in discussions with stakeholders, and especially the companies providing the service, curating ad hoc communications that could both increase the effectiveness of communication and clearly show the interchanges set out by the new operational programme and, therefore, the potential of the new service for users.

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This was an essential process for supporting local mobility companies in changing their perspective, raising their point of observation often focused on solving operational type problems and therefore not always able to seize the opportunities offered by a context which has recently become more and more attractive for traditional, young and green tourism.

The new operating programme devised by NET Engineering for the new shuttle in Valle Spluga (between Madesimo, Campodolcino and Motta) was tested during the high summer season of 2021. Various questionnaires were used to assess user satisfaction and the positive results motivated the client not only to confirm the service but also extend it to the winter season, further reinforcing it.

inquadramento Vallespluga ENG (1)
The Bologna and Florence Bus Rapid Transit