Integrated mobility for better life quality in urban areas.
This project is based on a feasibility study regarding a new type of portable bicycle. The study put on new bases this engineering puzzle, as old as the bicycle itself, and defined a human-powered vehicle weighting 4 kg, respectful of traditional bicycle parameters, able to collapse to standard briefcase size. Such a vehicle is conceived as a tool to let the commuter mix stretches by train, subway, bus, bicycle and on foot in the same trip; as a means of capillary distribution about the exchange hubs of mass transit; as a tool to widen the notion of walking distance from a few hundred feet to a few miles; as a spare vehicle for the car, incentive to the use of the suburban parking garages. The project has had vast approval, was exhibited at the EXPO '92 and the 18th Triennale in Milan, obtained a Philip Morris Science Prize, and won the sponsorship of the Italian Environment Ministry, WWF Italy, ENEA (state Energy-sector Research Agency), Pirelli, SNIA Tecnopolimeri (FIAT-Group plastics concern), ANCMA (association of the Italian bicycle producers). The project will bring into reality the results of the feasibility study, by producing a series of prototypes of the vehicle. An industrialization study will also be completed to help the ready availability of the vehicle to the public. The prototypes will be field-tested on mass transit lines run by public agencies partners of the project: FS (National Railroads), FNM (Milan Railroads), the Lombardia and Tuscany Regional Governments, the City of Florence.