Traffic plan for Christmas shoppers

Free bus lines for shopping streets in the centre, extra buses running, the ZTL traffic-free zone with longer hours and incentives for drivers leaving their cars at Piazzale Partigiani or Gianicolo car-parks: Rome’s Christmas shopping transport plan from 8 to 24 December was unveiled this week.

The free “Linea Shopping” bus will run from 11.30 to 20.30 (and also from 2 January to 16 February) through the downtown shopping area. Extra buses will run on some routes on weekdays from 10.00 to 20.30. And for the Epiphany holiday of the Befana, buses on route 116 to Piazza Navona will also be increased. Metro runs will be more frequent on 15, 16, 22 and 23 December, as will the Rome-Giardinetti train service on Saturdays.

There is an offer of two bus tickets for the price of one for every passenger in cars parked in the Piazzale dei Partigiani or in the Gianicolo car parks. And parking up to three hours will cost only €1.50 for drivers presenting a bus, tram or metro ticket stamped on the same day, or for season-ticket holders. Car-sharing subscribers will enjoy a 50 per cent discount from 15 December to 4 January, and new subscribers to an annual membership during the same period will have a discount of €30.

The Rome Centre ZTL will apply from 14.00 to 18.00 also on weekends on 8, 9, 16 and 23 December and 6 January. And from 17 to 24 December traffic will be banned from 17.00 until midnight. The usual hours will apply on all other days.

An extra 400 vigili urbani and a boosted number of traffic wardens will be on duty every day during the Christmas shopping period. They will be keeping a particular eye on traffic using bus lanes or parking in the marked-off bus-stops. And they will be backed up by dozens of volunteers from consumer association Codacons, who will leave their “fines” on the windscreen of cars with undisciplined drivers, and pass a copy to the traffic police for the issue of a regular, legal fine.