Milan is the financial capital of Italy, with a population of about 1, 3 million inhabitants. Similar to other European urban areas, the city faces the challenges of congestion, emissions and local air pollution. One action from the local government to address this issue has been the introduction of a general congestion charge in the city centre in 2012. The charge is €5/day and must be paid by motorists entering the city centre between 7.30am and 7.30pm. Mopeds, motorcycles, electric cars, vehicles for disabled people as well as some other vehicle categories are exempted. Residents have 40 free accesses per year and pay €2 from the 41st access.

Milan’s public transport network is the largest in Italy, extending for almost 1,600 km and with a maximum capacity of 3,750,000 passengers per kilometre. With its 103 stations and 95 km of rail, the Milan subway is about as large as all other Italian subways put together. It has been estimated that each one of Milan’s inhabitants travels an average of 83km per year using the city’s public transport. This is another Italian record. The surface public transport system in the city of Milan comprises 17 tram lines, 4 trolley lines, 80 urban bus lines and 33 long distance bus lines, in addition to various regional railway lines managed by Trenord.

Key figures about the bus fleet in Milan:

  • Number of lines: 103
  • Network length: 877.2 km
  • Bus fleet: 1,355

Azienda Trasporti Milanesi S.p.A – ATM

Founded in 1931, Azienda Trasporti Milanesi S.p.A (ATM) operates the public transport network in Milan and in the intercity area of Milan and Monza, the automated metro in Copenhagen, 21 interchange car parks and parking areas, the removal and detention of cars as well as integrated mobility services such as bike and car sharing. ATM manage the entire payment and control system of the congestion charge of Milan, which involves managing the purchase of 9,000 tickets and 70,000 entries every day. ATM serves a a population of 2.4 million inhabitants and carries more than 700 million passengers/year. The company was restructured as a group on 1 January 2007, with nine companies headed by the parent company ATM SpA. Some 9,300 employees work today (2015) within ATM.

Facing pollution has been one of the most important challenges over the years in ATM history. ATM Group fosters and implements a business culture based on the principles of environmental responsibility as a model for sustainable development: corporate commitment becomes a reality through the use of technologies aimed at reducing emissions, saving energy and increasing the use of renewable and self-produced energy. ATM’s fleet today (2015) has 45 trolleybuses featuring super capacitors for braking energy storage, 110 metro trains and 150 trams featuring braking energy regeneration system; ATM buys fuels with less pollutants, even if there is no regulation prescription.

In 2015, ATM introduced 125 new Euro 6 buses, bought in partial auto-financing. ATM’s clean bus fleet currently counts 2 full electric, 3 hydrogen and 4 hybrid buses. 64% of public transport is featured by electricity-powered vehicles. ATM’s future plans will depend on technology evolution. Corporate technical departments constantly monitor the market of new devices and solutions.

ATM hosted the UITP congress in Milan on 8-10 June 2015, where bus manufacturers showcased their latest technologies: innovation and sustainability were key topics of this global public transport summit.

Regional partners

The Lombardy region and the city of Milan have provided financial support to the project.

Fuel cell bus operation

Three 12 metres fuel cell electric buses (Mercedes-Benz Citaro from EvoBus) are in operation in Milan since October 2013. The buses operate on the line 84 from San Donato to the city centre. Some 150 drivers have been trained to drive the fuel cell buses.The time schedule of the buses is the following:

  • Bus 1: from 6:20 am to 10:12 am – distance: 48 km/day
  • Bus 2: from 7 am to 8:47 pm – distance: 148 km/day
  • Bus 3: from 5:48 am to 8:43 pm – distance: 170km/day

Bus workshop

An area of an existing diesel maintenance depot was converted to comply with hydrogen safety demands.

Hydrogen Refuelling Station charcteristics

  • The 350 bar hydrogen refuelling station is located at the San Donato depot, in which the fuel cell buses are located
  • The station was built by Linde and entered in service in 2013. Linde maintains the plant, ATM carries out bus fuelling
  • The station has a capacity of production of 200kg hydrogen/day
  • The hydrogen refuelling station shows a high level of availability (>98%)
  • The buses are refuelled within 10 minutes in average.

Hydrogen source/production

On-site electrolysis and trailer delivery (gaseous form) as back-up.

Source: Mobility portal of Milan, ATM and CHIC project results

Pictures: 3 fuel cell buses and San Donato depot (ATM)

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