14.4.15

Waiting for Expo 2015: how to move around Milan?

So, you made it to Milan and you also made it to your accommodation - thanks to my post? :)
Now, let's see... you want to go to the Expo site (since you came for that), you want to visit the wonderful Duomo, Leonardo's exhibit, the Last Supper, party in Navigli and just wander around the city... So here are some tips on how to use the public transportation, car sharing, bike sharing and other ways to move around the city:



Public transportation (metro, tramway, bus):
ATM is the company in charge of public transportation in Milan. They've just announced that there will be service 24/7 during the Expo period on some lines, so besides the day services we'll be getting also night services but just on some lines, like the metro lines 1, 2 and 3, and about 12 main bus lines (that were available only on weekend nights).
On their website you can find all the info about the lines, maps, tickets, etc. They've also developed a mobile app that has recently started selling tickets online (for use on metro lines you'll have to print a ticket in the self-service machines at the stations using the code you'll get from the app or you can use the qr code reader that's being installed in all metro gates and will be ready for May 1st., for buses and trams you'll just need to show the code on your phone to the ATM representatives who'll be checking the tickets).
Ticket types and prices (as of April 2014):

  • Urban ticket (single ride): €1.50 - valid for one ride on the metro and urban parts of the railroad network, or 90 minutes on 'surface transport' (buses and tramways).
  • Carnet of 10 Urban tickets: €13.80 - 10 Urban tickets (only for one passenger at the time - so you can't stamp twice if there's 2 of you, you should get another ticket or carnet)
  • BI4 4 Journeys integrated ticket: € 6.00 - 4 journeys of 90 minutes each. On ATM routes only, on Sundays and public holidays this ticket is valid for an unlimited number of journeys up to 1 pm if stamped before this time; on evenings until the end of service the ticket is valid for an unlimited number of journeys if stamped after 8 pm.
  • 1-Day ticket: €4.50 (valid 24 hours after validating)
  • 2-Day ticket: €8.25 (valid 48 hours after validating)
  • Evening ticket: € 3.00 - Valid from 8 pm until the end of service on the day of stamping.
  • Weekly Travel Card: € 11.30 Valid from Monday to Sunday for unlimited travel for one week.
  • Monthly Travel Card: € 35.00 valid for unlimited travel during one solar month from the 1st to the last day of the month for which the travel card was purchased.

Urban tickets and travel cards will take you mostly everywhere of interest in town, but since we're in Italy and we like to complicate things, these tickets are not valid to get to the Expo site in Rho Fiera stop, so you'll have to get these tickets:
  • Fiera Milano One-way ticket for € 2.50. Valid for one 105 minute trip from Milan to Rho Fieramilano station on the M1 or viceversa. The ticket is valid for a single trip on the M1 underground as far as Rho Fieramilano. It can be used for all trips within Milan’s urban network, both on ATM’s means of transport and on the urban sections managed by Trenord, including the Passante Ferroviario railway link; 
  • Fiera Milano Return ticket for € 5. Valid for two 105 minute trips on ATM’s and Trenord’s Milan urban network and on the suburban underground (M1) and railway section from and to Rho Fieramilano; 
  • Fiera Milano Day Pass for € 8. Valid from the time it is validated until the end of service with no limits as regards the number of trips on ATM’s and Trenord’s Milan urban network and on the suburban underground (M1) and railway section from and to Rho Fieramilano. Available only during exhibitions.
All tickets can be bought either at the metro stops, news stands and ATM points, while some tipes of tickets are available for purchase on the mobile app (using paypal or credit card).

Bike sharing:
ATM is also in charge of the bike sharing system, BikeMi. There are several stations all over the city (you can find them in the website), but to use them you should register first at an ATM point (there are ATM points in the main metro stations like Duomo, Porta Garibaldi, Loreto, etc.) or through the website, you should pay a subscprition fee ( Annual €36.00; Daily €2.50 or Weekly €6.00) and load your card. You can pick up a bike from all stations with the card. The first 30 minutes of use are free, after that, every 30 minutes you'll pay €0.50 (€2 after 2 hours - see all rates here).
The service is available during the Expo period on the following times: 
- from Sunday to Thursday inclusive, stations will be active from 07.00 am to 2.00 am at night.
- Friday and Saturday, the service will operate 24 hours a day.

Car sharing (Car2go):
Even if I don't drive, I love the idea of car sharing, an eco-friendly way of traveling around town without worrying about parking fees or having a car and all its costs (insurance, taxes, repairs, etc), there are several car sharing services in Milan, but only Car2Go is available for those with a non-Italian valid driver's license.
You probably know it, the one with the Smart mini-cars, it is active in many cities in the world so you probably have even used it. If you already use it in a European city, your card is valid also in Milan, but if you don't, here's some info:
You can join car2go if you:
• are at least 18 years old
• have held a valid driving license (EU) or
• have an international driving license*
• be the owner of a valid credit card
* The following driver‘s licenses will be accepted:
- EU/EEA and Switzerland.
- Not EU/EEA/Switzerland International driver’s license: only valid in connection with national license, or certified translation of the national driver’s license. The international driver’s license will be accepted only for 6 months after the entry in the country. The entry can be checked through the date of the plane ticket, the visa on the passport or the date on the proof of residence.

The fees are: One time sign up fee € 19.00 Plus use per minute, driving or parked € 0.29. You can find your car though the phone app and reserve it (for 30 minutes), payment is through the credit card you use to register to the service.

Taxi:
I'm not a fan of taxis in Milan, they're expensive, mostly rude and they don't allow you to pay with credit card most of the times (even if they have the machine installed), and if you're a foreigner, some might try to rip you off by driving the longest route to your destination. Still, they're widely available around town so if you must, you can use them. Main companies numbers to book one are TaxiBlu (02/4040 - 02/6767) and RadioTaxi (02/6969) Be informed that the rates vary from day to night and if you call a cab it might arrive already with 10 euros on the meter.
There will probably be a single number to get a taxi from any official taxi companies during the expo, but it's not available yet...

Uber:
The famous alternative to the taxis, there's been quite an attack to Uber from the taxi associations and some local governments these past months but I find it great. In my opinion, there should always be an alternative to taxis especially when they become a powerful lobby and offer mediocre service at high rates. So thanks for Uber, we'll keep using it while we can!
To use it, just download the app (and when you register you can add my promo code 2ZZL1 to get 10€ on your first ride), add your credit card info and look for the Uber car nearest to you. You can choose between Uber Black (licensed drivers, nicer cars, higher fees), Uber Pop (regular cars, cheaper fares) and Uber Van (bigger cars for groups) services.

Segway:
A fun way to explore the city center (especially pedestrian areas) is by Segway, Segway Tour Milan offers, beside their group tours, also free rentals if you want to explore the city on your own. The fees are: 1 hour: 25,00 € /each segway - 2 hour: 45,00 € /each segway - 3 hour: 60,00 € /each segway - Half Day (4 hours): 70,00 € /each segway - 1 Day (10 am – 6 pm): 85,00 € /each segway - Max 3 segways rented at once. The orientation session is included. All you need is your ID, and your credit card. Reservation preferred. Their rental point and shop is in Piazza Sempione, 5 – Milano (corner via Abbondio Sangiorgio).

Of course walking around and wandering through Milan's streets is encouraged :)

Hope this info is helpful!
Next posts will have more touristic info and (as soon as everything becomes clearer) info on the actual Expo!