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Map of Rome Transport ( Click the map to enlarge it! )
Rome is at the centre of the radial network of roads that roughly follow the lines of the ancient Roman roads that began at the Capitoline Hill and connected Rome with its empire. Today Rome is circled, at a distance of about 10 km (6 mi), by the ring-road (the Grande Raccordo Anulare or GRA).
Due to its location in the centre of the Italian peninsula, Rome is a principal railway node for central Italy. Rome's main train station, Termini, is one of the biggest train stations in Europe and the most heavily used in Italy, with around 400 thousand travellers passing through every day. The second-largest station in the city, Roma Tiburtina, is currently being redeveloped as a high-speed rail terminus.
Rome is served by three airports. The intercontinental Leonardo Da Vinci International Airport is Italy's chief airport and is commonly known as "Fiumicino Airport", as it is located within the nearby Comune of Fiumicino, south-west of Rome. The older Rome Ciampino Airport is a joint civilian and military airport. It is commonly referred to as "Ciampino Airport", as it is located beside Ciampino, south-east of Rome. A third airport, the Roma-Urbe Airport, is a small, low-traffic airport located about 6 km north of the city centre, which handles most helicopter and private flights.
The city suffers from traffic problems largely due to this radial street pattern, making it difficult for Romans to move easily from the vicinity of one of the radial roads to another without going into the historic centre or using the ring-road. These problems are not helped by the limited size of Rome's metro system when compared to other cities of similar size. In addition, Rome has only 21 taxis for every 10,000 inhabitants, far below other major European cities. Chronic congestion caused by cars during the 1970s and 1980s led to restrictions being placed on vehicle access to the inner city-centre during the hours of daylight. Areas where these restriction apply are known as Limited Traffic Zones (Zona a Traffico Limitato (ZTL) in Italian). More recently, heavy night-time traffic in Trastevere and San Lorenzo has led to the creation of night-time ZTLs in those districts, and there are also plans to create another night-time ZTL in Testaccio.
A 2-line metro system called the Metropolitana operates in Rome. Construction on the first branch started in the 1930s. The line had been planned to quickly connect the main train station with the newly planned E42 area in the southern suburbs, where the 1942 World Fair was supposed to be held. The event never took place because of war. The area was later partly redesigned and renamed EUR (Esposizione Universale di Roma: Rome Universal Exhibition) in the 1950s to serve as a modern business district. The line was finally opened in 1955, and it is now part of the B Line.
The A line opened in 1980 from Ottaviano to Anagnina stations, later extended in stages (1999-2000) to Battistini. In the 1990s, an extension of the B line was opened from Termini to Rebibbia. This underground network is generally reliable (although it may become very congested at peak times and during events, especially the A line) as it is relatively short. As of 2005, its total length is 38 km (24 mi).
The two existing lines, A and B, intersect at Roma Termini station. A new branch of the B line (B1) is under construction with an estimated cost of 500 million. It is scheduled to open in 2012. B1 will connect to line B at Piazza Bologna and will have four stations over a distance of 3.9 km (2 mi). A third line, line C, is under construction with an estimated cost of 3 billion and will have 30 stations over a distance of 25.5 km (16 mi). It will partly replace the existing Rail Road line, Termini-Pantano. It will feature full automated, driverless trains. The first section is due to open in 2011 and the final sections in 2015, but archaeological findings often delay underground construction work. A fourth line, D line, is also planned. It will have 22 stations over a distance of 20 km (12 mi). The first section is projected to open in 2015 and the final sections before 2035.
Above-ground public transport in Rome is made up of a bus, tram and urban train network (FR lines). The bus and tram network is run by Trambus S.p.A. under the auspices of Atac S.p.A. (which originally stood for the Municipal Bus and Tramways Company, Azienda Tramvie e Autobus del Comune in Italian). The bus network has in excess of 350 bus lines and over 8 thousand bus stops, whereas the more-limited tram system has 39 km of track and 192 stops.There is also one trolleybus line, opened in 2005, and additional trolleybus lines are planned.