Saturday, 25 January 2014

Venice, Italy

The waterways of Venice present their own unique challenges to providing a public transport network.

The historic city is built on more than 100 small islands separated by canals; the islands are linked by pedestrian footbridges.  Getting around the centre of Venice can be done either on foot or on water.

Boats provide a waterbus network through the heart of Venice.  The waterbus services are provided by ACTV, the public transport company for Venice.

The waterbus network is quite extensive, with around 30 routes serving more than 100 piers.

The busiest services operate from 05:00 to midnight, while a couple of boat routes operate through the night.



Venezia Santa Lucia is the railway terminus in Venice.  The pier in front of the station is named "Ferrovia" (for "railway").

The waterbuses aren't the most well-known vessels on Venice's canals.  The waterbus routes keep to the wider canals but tourists can (and do) take a trip around the city centre by gondola.

As well as providing tourist trips (as shown in this image), gondolas are also used as ferries across the Grand Canal which divides the centre of Venice in two.  There are seven "traghetto" gondola ferries , interspersed between the four footbridges which cross the canal


Although, for obvious reasons, buses don't operate through the centre of Venice, they do get close to the city.

A road from the Italian mainland crosses the causeway to the city, alongside the railway.  A bus terminus is located at Piazzale Roma, across a canal from Santa Lucia railway station.  Piazzale Roma also has a pier for the waterbus services.

The images below, showing a variety of buses in use, were all taken at Piazzale Roma in 2011.

Although most buses carried an all-over orange livery, some of the newest vehicles wore blue, green, orange and white.

Gas-powered buses were operating alongside conventional diesel buses.

As well as standard single-deckers, articulated buses were operating on several services.

This high-floor coach-type vehicle was wearing blue livery.  Otherwise, as for the standard single-deckers, the older articulated buses wore orange as did some of the newer ones.

This vehicle was fitted with curtains, undoubtedly to help provide some shade inside the bus in the warm Venetian climate.

Many of the newer articulated buses wore blue, green, orange and white colours.

Like the boat services, the bus network is provided by ACTV.

A third transport system, opened in 2010, is a People Mover.  Similar to systems used at some airports, the People Mover links the main car park and the cruise liner terminal with Piazzale Roma.

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