Implementing sustainable mobility
Parking in double rows or on reserved bus lanes is unfortunately common in Bologna and one of the main causes of congestion. It hinders public transport vehicles in particular. The city wants to implement an automatic enforcement system to discourage illegal parking. It will be one of the first of such systems in Europe.
The main objectives of the measure are to:
- Improve the travel time of public transport; and
- Enforce road rules to reduce illegal on-street parking.
Weak enforcement of illegal on-street parking has a negative impact on public transport and traffic circulation in Bologna. Especially, the historical city centre suffers from this situation. Intelligent transport systems (ITS) have proven efficient instruments to release such situations. Bologna hopes that an electronic mobile enforcement system will decrease illegal on-street parking. The existing ITS system will be improved with mobile cameras designed to detect illegal parking and support the municipal police in enforcement. The so-called SCOUT system works as follows: Patrolling police first take a picture of the illegally parked car from inside the police car. The owner of the car is identified via the number plate and the fine procedure begins. Disputes after the fine has been issued are avoided through a Galileo-based GPS application onboard the police car that provides the exact position of the vehicle.
How is the measure progressing
The implementation of the measure involves a technical and market analysis, a definition of requirements, the development of a prototype and an evaluation of first tests. Bologna has completed all these steps and SCOUT is now in operation. Since February 2010, a second bus route is being monitored through the SCOUT system. Together with the police, training courses on how to use the system have been organised for employees of the public transport operator that is responsible for the management of parking in public areas. Illegal on-street parking will be monitored to assess improvements in journey times of public transport.
What are the expected results of the measure
Bologna expects from the measure:
>> A reduction in on-street parking; and
>> Improvements in the travel time of public transport.
Data collected by the municipal police department shows a 55 percent decrease in parking on bus lanes and a decrease of 38 percent in illegal on-street parking in other areas such as on pavements or in double rows. Bologna has also witnessed a decrease in congestion on the monitored bus routes, and buses are running more regularly. In addition, legal disputes challenging fines have been low thanks to the photographic and GPS-supported proof the SCOUT system provides.
Contact: Fabio Cartolano