Tram Approval by Venice City Council
Venice City Council has agreed proposals for a tram service, as reported on 21 June in the Venice newspaper La Nuova di Venezia e Mestre here: Fermata del tram al garage comunale capolinea a San Basilio
The Council approved a tram stop at Piazzale Roma, which is the final drop-off point for cars and buses on the edge of the city. This stop will be situated next to the station for the People Mover. The tram stop at Piazzale Roma will connect to Mestre, the mainland city bordering Venice. The service between Piazzale Roma and Mestre has already been financed by the Ministry of Infrastructure to be completed by 2015.
A link between Piazzale Roma and the quay at San Basilio is also planned. This requires additional funding of €14 million, which Infrastructure Minister Altero Matteoli has suggested could be provided through the ‘Objective Law’. The Objective Law was drawn up by the first government of Silvio Berlusconi to streamline the approval and funding of various infrastructure projects. Nevertheless, the tram link to San Basilio is likely to be a longer term project than the principal line between Piazzale Roma and Mestre.
Similarly, another tram stop at the VEGA science and technology park near Marghera is planned for, but requires further funding from public and private sources.
We welcome the plans for all the tram stops as steps towards modernizing Venice’s inadequate transport system. Yet it is noticeable that these plans conform with development on the outskirts of the city, while the city centre continues to suffer from a lack of modernization. As explained in the forthcoming book Venice in Environmental Peril? Myth and Reality (late 2011) by Dominic Standish, the marginalization of modernization from the city centre has held back Venice’s progress over the last century. The book explains why Venice also needs a subway into the city centre and we have criticised the recent campaign against the subway proposal here: REFERENDUM CAMPAIGN AGAINST SUBWAY
While the tram service will improve Venice’s transport system, the tram should complement the subway and not substitute it.