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Thursday 1 April 2010

Naples: Just The Ticket

There are, as I posted yesterday, gaps in the Naples Metro map: moreover, to get from A to B across the city can involve more than one rail transport network, the bus system, and one of four funiculars. So does that make one off journeys an expensive proposition?

Well, no it doesn’t, because the city not only has an integrated fare system for public transport, but it also uses the concept of time based ticketing for single journeys, which is also the rule in Rome, and further afield in Vienna, Prague, and Geneva. But not in London, as a discussion on Dave Hill’s Guardian blog underlined recently (Dave had done a weekend visit to Rome, thus setting off the topic).

And, given the occasionally glacial speed of progress along Naples’ traffic infested road network, the time allowed for that single journey is not the 60 minutes of Geneva, or the 75 of Prague, but a full 90 minutes. So you can (for instance) validate on the 3S at the Airport, change to another bus at Piazza Garibaldi, then continue by suburban train or funicular from the western side of the city centre.

Having this kind of ticketing makes up for the gaps in the Metro network, and will still be useful when that network gets completed, as not even the best urban rail system covers every part of its host city. That’s why the timed ticket concept could be useful not only in London, but in other parts of the UK. The latter, unfortunately, would be hard to implement, given the current structure of the bus industry outside London.

But that’s a subject for another day.

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