Bike + Train services in Friuli Venezia Giulia Region, connecting Italy and Austria
PROBLEM. Need to connect the Italian region Friuli Venezia Giulia with the rest of Europe, by improving both transborder as well as regional sustainable utility-and-tourism transport and intermodality- particularly to support cycle tourism-and by increasing accessibility to places and heritage sites, especially Unesco ones. Make the CicloviaAlpe Adria Radweg (CAAR) Salzburg (AT) to Grado (IT), as well as the regional cycle network, easily accessible.
CONTEXT. The regional political will (policies, planning, investment) combined with the opportunity of Eu funding for transnational cooperation startup (Interreg ITA-AT 2007-2013).
PRACTICE. Transnational cooperation between public and private bodies to introduce and run the new railway service Micotra (Italian acronym for “Improving transborder connection”), operated by FUC with OBB. Micotra has a train tractor by FUC, passengers and bicycles coaches by OBB, runs 4 times/day 7 days/week, Villach to Udine. Since 2018 a pilot extension Udine to Trieste added in weekends. 17 stations are served (5 in Austria, 12 in Italy, including the newly built station at the regional airport). Bicycle carriage capacity per train is 100 places as basic service and 200 places in high season.
Regional investment for new 12 regional trains operated by Trenitalia, with bicycle capacity of 30 or 37 places per train.
Micotra Villach-Udine: in 2012 €1,305M, financed by Interreg IV Italy-Austria , co-funded by Region Friuli-Venezia Giulia & Land Kärnten. For the following years the same cost financed by Fvg and Kärnten.
In 2015 FVG bought 12 trains with bicycle capacity (€45,6M)
Evidence of success
With a basic capacity of 100 places and 200 in high season, MICOTRA offers today one of the best transnational service for carrying bikes in the Alpine region and represents the offer with the highest capacity within Italy.
Udine-Tarvisio (IT) passengers: 63.630 in 2017, 67.598 in 2018 (+6,2%)
Udine-Tarvisio (IT) bikes: 14.238 in 2017, 15.320 in 2018 (+7,6%)
Udine-Villach passengers: 83.643 in 2017, 84.284 in 2018 (+0,8%)
Udine-Villach bikes: 17.273 in 2017, 18.550 in 2018 (+7,4%)
Potential for learning or transfer
Other European territories with a regional cycle network and crossed by transnational cycleroutes probably face similar accessibility and mobility challenges and problems and can be interested to acquire more insights to adapt this good practice in order to improve their sustainability by developing a scalable train + bike offer like this.
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