Rome to limit numbers on metro and buses

Rome public transport network prepares for Phase Two in coronavirus emergency.

Rome's public transport is carrying out tests on how to control the flow of commuters during Italy's post-lockdown phase of the coronavirus crisis, reports Italian news agency ANSA.

The experimental measures, which begin on Friday 24 April, come as Italy prepares to face the so-called Phase Two, of "co-existing" with the virus, which is expected to begin on 4 May.

The tests will be conducted at several metro stations where passenger numbers will reportedly be controlled according to time slots, with signs directing commuters to designated routes and informing them of the social distancing measures they are required to follow.

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A similar approach will be tested on certain bus lines, with staff on hand to control the numbers of people getting on board.

The objective is to reduce crowds at rush hour, with Sky TG24 reporting that the numbers on buses will be limited to a maximum of 30 people, with a maximum of 300 per metro carriage.

Italian newspaper La Repubblica reports that commuters on buses will be encouraged to keep a distance of one metre between each other, with drivers permitted to skip stops if the bus has reached a capacity.

La Repubblica also reports that the wearing of masks is encouraged but they are not obligatory, ostensibly due to their lack of availability. Commuters will also be urged to purchase tickets online as much as possible, wash their hands regularly, avoid touching their face while travelling, and follow the designated paths at metro stations.

Rome's mayor Virginia Raggi recently promoted the use of bicycles and electric scooters in the capital, citing the vastly-reduced traffic and improved air quality during the lockdown.

Photo La Repubblica