Thursday, June 6, 2013


I use rely on public transportation to get around Rome, so when I first heard about the plan to extend the 8 tram to Piazza Venezia I was one of the few people who supported the idea, and I still do (more or less). Everyone was griping about what a waste of money it was to extend the tram line 400 meters but what I kept saying was it would create for easier transfers.
We all know that Rome's public transportation is dismal not that great and what makes it even worse is the lack of easy transfers. Not just for tourists who might be schlepping suitcases but also just for regular residents of Rome who always have to sprint when changing from one bus to another. For example, have you ever seen the 8 - 75/44 dash? Grab a bag of popcorn and stand by the Ministry of Public Education , you can sit there for hours watching people, young and old alike, frantically getting off the 8 tram and running like wildfire to reach the 75 or 44 buses to Monteverde. It's sad and amusing at the same time. We need seamless transfers, we need transportation hubs- like what we now have in Piazza Venezia (more or less).
BUT, here's the hitch, from what I saw it seems they've removed the Largo Argentina tram stops in both directions. So now the only stop before Piazza Venezia is Piazza Cairoli - which is downright stoopid (yes, with two O's). Let's say you're on the tram and are aiming to take a bus from Largo Argentina, you now have to sprint or lug your suitcases from Piazza Cairoli. Sure it's only 100 meters or so away from the old stop but the the sidewalk to get to the main bus stop is too narrow to accommodate that kind of foot traffic- making it anything but seamless.
A well-designed and well-thought-out transportation network would make it easy for riders to get from one place to another, to change buses/trams/metro without having to jump through too many hoops, without having to sprint through intersections and dodge cars. 
What's worse is, apparently now that the tram is situated in Piazza Venezia, there is no chance in hell it will ever reach Termini, like it was initially supposed to (how lovely would it be to have the 8 tram going up Via Nazionale?). Not really a win-win situation, maybe more like a win-lose situation... 

If you can read Italian, this Roman blogger wrote a good post on the topic:


Anonymous said...

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Romerican said...

@Anonymous - thanks! I will definitely check out your blog.