|Public transport: buses, trams, metro|
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In Milan, buses, trams and metro (underground) trains are run by a company named “ATM”. Ordinary tickets cost €1.50 and can be obtained in Metro stations (newsagents, automatic machines, ticket offices in some stations), and from bars displaying the green and orange ATM sticker on the window. A block of 10 tickets costs €13.80; a one-day ticket, €4.50; two-day ticket, €8.25. Weekly, monthly or yearly season tickets are also available. The largest ATM ticket sales and info office is the ATM Point information office in Duomo Metro station (MM1/3 Duomo), open Mon-Sat 7.45-19.00.
The ordinary ticket should be franked using the red/orange machine as soon as you get on a bus or tram, or go through the Metro turnstiles, or before getting on an FNME train. The same ticket can be used for 90 minutes from the time franked on the ticket, with any combination of buses and trams (the ticket should be franked just on the first bus/tram journey, not on the next ones), but with just the one Metro journey, or one journey on a “Passante Ferroviario” train, or on a “FNME” train (within city limits).
The one or two-day ticket lasts 24/48 hours from the first franking: from then on, don’t frank it any more, just keep it and show when asked. In the Metro, enter through the gap marked “abbonati”.
The Metro system consists of 5 lines, number 1 (red), 2 (green), 3 (yellow), 4 the “Passante Ferroviario” (blue) and 5 (lilac) . The FNME is the privately-run train service running from Stazione Nord in Piazza Cadorna. For info on FNME trains, there is an info office in the Cadorna station, open 7.00 to 20.00 every day, tel. 02.20222 at same times.
Metro trains run from around 6.15 until 00.14, though during the night there is a replacement bus service for lines 1 and 3. There are large interchange car parks at the stations Lampugnano, Bisceglie (MM1), Cascina Gobba, Famagosta (MM2), open 7.00-01.00 (overnight parking possible).
For public transport info, the toll-free info number is 800.808181 (7.30-19.30). Website www.atm-mi.it
The “Radiobus” service, operating from 20.00 to 02.00, makes it possible to return from central Milan to the western, northern and north-eastern outskirts. A bus picks you up and takes you where you want to go. You have to book by phone at 02.4803.4803, either days in advance, or just before your trip. Cost €3 if you pay on the bus, less if you buy the ticket (ordinary ATM ticket + Radiobus ticket, total €2.50) in advance. For further info on this service, phone 800.808181.
Most trains leave from the Central Station. Train information in English can be obtained from the information office, on the NW end of the first floor gallery (open 7.00-21.00), or by phone, 848.888.088 (7.00-21.00, not available from cellphones), or best of all by Internet (www.trenitalia.com). The Central Station is closed from 01.00 to 04.00 and patrolled by police: they will let you through if you have a train to catch, or need to go to the pharmacy.
Return tickets offer no saving with respect to two singles. Remember that any ticket should be franked using the yellow machines situated at the near end of the platforms, just before boarding the train. A return ticket should be franked again before the return journey. If you forget, you will be fined! If you do forget, try at least to find the conductor on the train and tell him, before he finds you.
For many trains, seat booking is obligatory. In any case it is an good idea to buy your ticket early (at least the day before) and book your seat (small extra charge). Saves frustration queueing while your train is about to depart. Be sure to claim your booked seat within ten minutes after departure.
Apart from the main ticket office in Milan, there is also a small ticket office just around the right-hand corner of the station (in Piazza Luigi di Savoia) called Doria, where queues are much shorter: you can also buy tickets from the “Passaggi” agency nearby. Prices are the same.
For the differently abled and people with sight problems, the Ufficio per i disabili within the station provides all help that may be required, such as wheelchair provision, lift, baggage transport. Free of charge. Book at least two hours ahead if possibile. Phone 02.6371.2661.
Ferrovie Nord is a private railway company that runs lines from Cadorna Station, Stazione Nord, to various locations north of Milan (Saronno, Laveno, Novara, Asso). In particular it runs the Malpensa Express train link to Malpensa airport, and a very handy train to Como which arrives right on the lakeside. Info: tel. 02.20222, website www.ferrovienord.it
It is almost impossible to stop a taxi on the street in Milan: you have to locate a taxi-rank, or call one of the radio taxi firms (02.4040, 02.8585, 02.4000, 02.6969).
If you take a taxi to Malpensa, make sure that it has the sticker Taxi autorizzato per il servizio aeroportuale lombardo on the windscreen. This means that its taximeter is adjusted for this route and that you pay the displayed fare.
Other taxis without the sticker may double the fare.
A few taxis accept credit cards. If in doubt about price, ask the driver for an estimate before setting off.