Metro, the deadlines for the next stops. We think of a shuttle bus to connect Belpasso center

From the hinterland to the airport with only the suitcase in hand. Without cars, traffic and parking. This was the leit motiv of the meeting that was held in Belper, at the Nino Martoglio theater, organized byAssociation BeBelpasso to discuss the link via underground between the city and the Etna municipality. A comparison, moderated by the director of the TV Sestarete Valentina Mammino, which saw on the stage – and in the audience – representatives of local and regional politics, together with the director of Fce Salvatore Fiore. Whose speech was an opportunity to take stock of next stops of the Catania metro, to which the association’s proposal was added to connect the center of Belpasso to the planned stop, too far to be really usable without a car.

From the hinterland to the airport with only the suitcase in hand. Without cars, traffic and parking. This was the leit motiv of the meeting that was held in Belper, at the Nino Martoglio theater, organized byAssociation BeBelpasso to discuss the link via underground between the city and the Etna municipality. A comparison, moderated by the director of the TV Sestarete Valentina Mammino, which saw on stage – and in the audience – representatives of local and regional politics, together with the director of Fce Salvatore Fiore. Whose speech was an opportunity to take stock of next stops of the Catania metro, to which the association’s proposal was added to connect the center of Belpasso to the planned stop, too far to be really usable without a car.

The topic – and perhaps the pre-election period – brought various political personalities to the Nino Martoglio theater. Like, in the audience, the regional deputies of the territory Gaetano Galvagno (Brothers of Italy), Joseph Zitelli (It will become beautiful) e Gianina Ciancio (5 star movement). The Undersecretary for Transport Giancarlo Cancelleri was absent and remained in Rome. The mayors on stage opened the speeches: Except Pogliese, mayor of Catania, with colleagues Daniele Motta by Belpasso e Nino Nose for Paternò. Along with them, too Savior Caccamo, Commissioner of the Municipality of Misterbianco, e Alfio Papal, in the dual role of regional deputy in Forza Italia and former mayor of Belpasso.

Who could not help but reaffirm thestrategic importance of an infrastructure such as the metro, especially with a view to connecting with the airport. And to think not only of those who leave but also of those who arrive, it was Naso, who shared a dream perhaps even more futuristic than the metro itself, which will only arrive in 2026: ” tourists from Catania arrive directly in our municipalities, for this reason with the other mayors we must equip ourselves to offer a package ». It was Papale who brought the audience back to more concrete matters, who said he was above all happy with the initiative of young people, because “they do politics not just learning to seek grades, but taking care of the city ».

The perfect starting point to move on to the figures and deadlines, presented by Salvatore Fiore, director of Fce. It started precisely from the most awaited route, the Stesicoro-airport, with a total cost of approximately 550 million, of which 402 million financed by the European Union. With 8 stops to connect the center to the southern outskirts of Catania, it is divided into two lots: the first – Stesicoro-Palestro with in the middle the San Domenico and Vittorio Emanuele stops – is already under construction with the end of the works scheduled for end year; and then the completion to the airport – and le intermediate stops of San Leone, Verrazzano, Librino and Santa Maria Goretti, with exchanger parking – so you will have to wait until 2026.

On the opposite side, however, it deals with it Nesima-Misterbianco – for just under 125 million euros – with the stops of Fontana, Monte Po – opening scheduled for end of the year, «Only the finishes are missing», promises Fiore – and then Misterbianco industrial area to get to the bus stop center, scheduled for 2024. From here the extension towards Paternò – a mixed section between excavation and surface, to limit the acoustic and visual impact – with 5 stops: Gullotta – designed to serve the citizens of Motta Sant’Anastasia with an exchange parking -, Belper – and more precisely, Table top “Healing the current fracture of the territory due to the railway line” -, Valcorrente – the so-called Etnapolis stop -, Giaconia is Ardizzone. From there a people mover towards the center of Paternò, «A horizontal lift, a kind of shuttle», explains the engineer of Fce. “For a total of 30 kilometers of line and 29 stops by 2026, including the one inside the airport, with excavation, as in Linate », announced Fiore, the man most praised of the evening by all those present.

The association’s proposal was added to the project BeBelpasso to overcome a problem: if Paternò will have its shuttle to the city center, what will happen to Belpasso with a metro stop scheduled for kilometers from the town? Hence the idea of ​​a meter shuttle on the model of the one built in Catania from Milo station towards the university citadel. A bus which will start from Piano Tavola stop and will travel 13 stops through Belpasso, along the main streets and the ring road, for a total of 13 kilometers and a travel time of 40 minutes with frequency of 20 minutes at rush hour is 40 minutes in the rest of the day. Also imagine three points of interchange: Sant’Antonio, Purgatorio and Borrello. Finally, part of the project is the presence of poles electronic with updates on races and the ability to receive information via sms and with a smartphone app.

The idea collects the applause of all the protagonists. «I always say that the tire system remains excellent, because the metro cannot be a door-to-door service – says Fiore – It is rather a supporting axis that must be integrated with mobility policies that guarantee frequency and capillarity. The project will be evaluated by the Fce ». A unanimous chorus, whose only note comes from the mayor of Belpasso, Daniele Motta: «A similar conversation was in the air but not yet structured. I only have a baby perplexity: the current road transport of Fce does not seem to me to be going very well, especially the school one ». “We went through a particular moment with the capacity on school transport reduced to 50 percent – replies the director – And let’s talk about peak hours, those on which the need for means is planned. It is clear that we did not have spare vehicles to add ».

The regional councilor for Infrastructure Marco Falcone pulls the strings of the issue: “On this proposal, I soon did two maths: 26 total kilometers, between there and back, 15 times a day, for about 365 days ago 100 thousand kilometers a year. The Region pays 1.50 euros per kilometer, so they would be approx 150 thousand euros. With a stroke of the pen, the local parliamentarians present here can increase spending. Amt, in Catania, already offers this service for free, but it is a job and must be compensated, which we will do in the coming months ».

This post is also available in: English