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Capital of Italy

Rome is located in the central-western part of Italy. It is the country’s capital and most populated city with over 2.7 million inhabitants. As Rome is the third most visited city in the European Union, tourism is very important. It is the centre of many institutions and produces 6.7% of Italy’s GDP.

The public transport consists of a metro network, buses, trams and an urban train network but is regarded to be in poor condition. Despite recent efforts to improve public transport and also do something for cycling, the city’s plans are not ambitious enough to improve the poor air quality.

Overall Grade: F 58%

Pie Chart 58
  • Graph Reduction Success Local Emissions
  • Graph Low Emission Zones & Bans of High Emitters
  • Graph Public Procurement Clean Cars
  • Graph Non-Road Mobile Emission Sources
  • Graph Use of Economic Incentives
  • Graph Traffic & Mobility Management Incl. Modal Split
  • Graph Promotion of Public Transport
  • Graph Promotion of Walking & Cycling
  • Graph Transparency & Communication Policy


Reduction Success Local Emissions

The number of days exceeding limit values for particulate matter PM10 at the traffic station on Corso Francia seems to be fluctuating in recent years. After a big drop between 2008 and 2010 from 77 to 38 exceedance days, values increased again – having an intermediate high of 68 in 2011 – to 57 exceedance days in 2012. Although high infringements of EU regulations were registered for PM10 exceedance days, as only 35 per year are allowed, annual mean values decreased from 40.9 µg/m³ in 2008 to 36.3 µg/m³ in 2012, which means they are better than EU limits. At the same time, NO2 annual mean values decreased from 78.9 µg/m³ to 72.6 µg/m³, far above the EU limits of 40 µg/m³.

Low Emission Zones & Bans of High Emitters

The city limits access of vehicles to its city centre. There is a Low Emission Zone (LEZ, Zona Traffico Limitato) in operation in an area of about 5.5km². This area was enlarged in 2013. Different vehicle classes are subject to different regulations. Cars with Euro 0 emissions standards are not allowed in the city centre at all. Euro 1-6 cars are not allowed on workdays during the day and on Saturdays in the afternoon, unless they have, for instance, a resident’s or a delivery permit. Some areas in the city centre are also closed at night-time. Lorries without permits have different, very restrictive access times depending on their emission class.

Further, less restrictive regulations exist for two additional concentric LEZ bands, called ring rail zone and green zone. For the ring rail zone, a progressive implementation of stricter emission class limitations for all vehicles over the next years is currently under discussion. For lorries, this progressively increasing restriction has already been planned.

Although electronic gates (more precisely electronic signs) and cameras control access to the city centre LEZ, enforcement does not seem not be efficient: E-Gates are often disregarded.

Public Procurement Clean Cars

Rome’s local transport company ATAC operated a public transport fleet of about 2,500 vehicles in 2012. ATAC names an average bus age of eight years and sets a recommended road life span of up to 12 years. By 2014, almost 400 new buses with Euro V engines were planned to be purchased and set in operation. In an earlier fleet renewal programme in 2003, ATAC purchased 1,107 Euro III buses, of which 300 were equipped with CRT systems that filter out particulate matter (PM10).

No information could be retrieved about the municipal car fleet and the breakdown of its emission classes.

Non-Road Mobile Emission Sources

No information was forthcoming on whether there is local legislation to regulate emissions of non-road mobile machinery. National regulations do not seem to exist.

Use of Economic Incentives

Rome’s authorities offer access permits to the Low Emission Zone independent from emission classes. These permits can be granted to, for example, residents or commercial vehicles upon payment. Generally, tariffs have been increased over the last years and discussions to increase them further are currently in progress. However, the tariff system is very opaque. Tariffs vary a lot depending on, for instance, the specific LEZ zone within the city centre, the permission length, the number of permissions per resident, and the tax class of the grantee. Tourists can also get a permit when staying in a hotel inside the LEZ.

There is paid parking outside the city centre LEZ. Here, on-street parking and car parks are expensive; cheaper fees can be expected in residential areas as well as Park & Ride stations. Although some kind of parking management with about 76,000 paid parking spaces is available, it is widely uncontrolled and hence ineffective. Parking prohibition – also in pedestrian zones – is often disregarded.

Traffic & Mobility Management Incl. Modal Split

In 2013, 50.5% of all rush hour journeys in Rome were undertaken by car, 15.5% by motorbike, 28.4% by public transport and 5.6% were made using bicycles or on foot. In comparison with 2004, after almost 10 years, the modal split has not really improved, and only marginal changes have occurred. In the new mobility plan for Rome, however, modelled scenarios show a modal split of 43.8% car use, 14.8% motorcycle use and 34.4% public transport use. 6.9% of journeys are envisaged to be made by bicycle and walking in the near future.

Rome has a very high share of motorisation with 67 cars and 15 motorcycles per 100 inhabitants. The motorisation rate for all vehicles is over 90%. What aggravates the local air pollution situation is that almost 50% of cars are below Euro 4 emission standard. Rome is experiencing an increase in car sharing and carpooling – nevertheless on a relatively low level with only 110 cars for about 3000 registered users in 2013. There is a limited service for free-floating car sharing by three different operators. In the framework of a new freight delivery plan, a van-sharing system with electric vehicles is being tested.

Generally, electric mobility is planned to be developed and promoted. Currently there is a plan to set up 114 recharging columns at 60 sites in the city.

Promotion of Public Transport

Rome has a public transport system with metro, (trolley-) bus, tram and urban train lines. The system faces capacity problems in peak hours. An expansion and reorganisation of the public transport system started in 2008 and is planned to be completed by 2020. Within this time frame, both the metro and tram network is envisaged to almost double. Local railways will be expanded by about 10% by 2020. In 2014 the first part of the new line C was opened. Generally, the public transport fleet as well as public transport stations seem to be in very bad condition.

Monthly tariffs for public transport are relatively cheap compared to other Italian cities, taxi costs are about average compared to other European cities.

Promotion of Walking & Cycling

The city increased its bike lane network from 225 km in 2011 to 280 km in 2013 including lanes in parks. A further 920 km is planned and also partially financed. 24 million euros will be spent between 2014 and 2016. Furthermore, the pedestrianisation of the inner city centre is envisaged, comprising an extensive 30 km/h zone with access only for emergency vehicles.

Further promotion of routine cycling is planned with a re-launch of a bike sharing system. In August 2014, a tendering process for a contract of about 120 bicycles with pedal assistance was published.

Transparency & Communication Policy

The Centre of Lazio Region for Air Quality offers a website with background information on air pollutants, their legislation and their effects on health. There are daily, weekly and yearly reports and bulletins, as well as daily, monthly and yearly data extraction possibilities. There is only a general contact to ARPALAZIO.

Centre of Lazio Region for Air Quality, background information (Ital.):

Centre of Lazio Region for Air Quality, detailed information about monitoring (Ital.):

Response to Questionnaire

The City did not reply to the questionnaire.