Atac and Rome city authorities have announced a series of incentives to persuade people to scrap their old cars and join a car-sharing scheme. The scheme, which is masterminded by the ministry of the environment, aims to discourage families from owning a second car and to create a viable alternative for those who rarely use their car (less than 10,000 km per year). The obvious advantages for the environment are fewer vehicles on the roads, less pollution and less fuel consumption (-30-50 per cent for each driver who scraps their car and starts car-sharing). Car sharing in Rome is currently active in the third municipio (at Piazza Bologna, Via Lanciani, Piazza Lecce, Piazza Sassari and Via della Lega Lombarda), with an active fleet of ten cars. City authorities plan to buy more 20 vehicles to begin the scheme also in the first (Termini), the second, and the seventeenth municipi.

Drivers who get rid of their old cars in favour of the scheme can choose from two incentives: free membership for a year and a discount of 50 per cent in the second year, or a bonus of 800 which must be put towards the cost of car-sharing mileage within a two-year period. To be eligible for the incentives, drivers need to have residence in Rome and to have scrapped a car that was registered before 31 December 2000 since 5 July 2006. Proof of eligibility should be presented to the offices of city transport authority Atac, which is running the scheme in the capital.

For more information on car sharing, see www.atac.roma.it or tel. 0646954372. Registration and membership fees amount to 200, and costs are calculated according to time and mileage. The Atac offices that deal with the sceme are in Via Prenestina 45, Mon-Thurs 09.00-13.00 and 14.00-17.00 and Fri 09.00-13.00.