Integrated Eco-friendly Mobility Services
for People and Goods in Small Islands


The main objective of the ELBA project is the planning, implementation and demonstration of a number of advanced eco-sustainable integrated mobility schemes and services for people and goods, in and for the Elba Island (connected with Piombino, Livorno Province – Tuscany Region - Italy).

These services will be based on a set of "intermediate" and "flexible" (i.e. demand-responsive) transport and logistics schemes, operated by eco-friendly vehicles and integrated in the broader context of mobility measures, thus allowing Elba Island to achieve high standards of energy efficiency and environmental quality. Attaining high levels of applicability to the addressed geographical and environmental context – i.e., small islands, short distance and frequent mainland-islands trips, intermodal freight flows, interactions among freight, local mobility, tourists mobility flows, etc. – the solutions demonstrated in the project will provide viable models of interests for and transferable to many other national and European sites both urban area and small islands.

To this end, the ELBA project will:

  • plan, implement, demonstrate and evaluate innovative models for flexible, collective mobility services for people (bus on demand and reservation) in order to provide eco-efficient solutions meeting the typical local mobility as well as the more demanding seasonal patterns (i.e. tourists flows);
  • plan, implement, demonstrate and evaluate innovative logistics schemes and services to reduce the impacts of goods transport from Piombino (mainland side) to Elba and of freight distribution in different small urban areas of the island.

In order to enable this, the project will investigate and implement the appropriate organisational and operational models necessary to support the identified ELBA mobility and logistics schemes, and will implement and deploy the required ICT enabling solutions to support the newly designed services. Particularly, an innovative, service oriented ICT architecture will be implemented, based on advanced hw/sw and communication technologies, to ensure efficient and effective operation of both people and goods mobility processes.

Coordinated by means of the ICT platform and services, the range of implemented complementary services will provide an attractive, integrated, alternative mobility offer to Elba Island citizens, tourist, visitors and economic operators, thus allowing to achieve significant modal shift from private/individual transport to eco and energy efficient sustainable services and significant rationalisation of freight delivery services, thus reducing the environmental and energy impacts of both people and freight flows in the island. Overall, the aim of the proposed action is to:

  1. reduce private traffic incoming flows from Piombino Port (in mainland) to the two main Elba "doors" (Portoferraio and Rio-Marina ports, under the Piombino Port Authority) by offering Elba visitors and tourists (particularly during the high season) flexible, personalised, attractive and yet collective transport schemes for Elba destinations;
  2. reduce the impacts of local mobility of people (e.g. Elba residents) by rationalising the current offer and shifting part of traditional transport services to flexible, demand responsive services (improved offer, less empty runs, reduced impacts);
  3. reduce the load of incoming freight flows on the island, by offering freight consolidation on the mainland side (Piombino port area) and reduction of the freight trips reaching Elba by ferry;
  4. reduce the impacts of "last mile" freight delivery in Elba island by the use of clean vehicles (e.g. electrical, CNG), optimised delivery services (local freight consolidation, reduced/optimised number of trips) and the provision of value-added services;

Objectives 1, 2 and 3 are tightly interrelated and refer to three main sources of transport/traffic generated environmental issues for Elba: the high tourist flows accessing Elba (especially high during seasonal peaks); the internal insular mobility, related to both residents and economic activities (goods delivery, services, etc.); the freight flows from the mainland to Elba island (related to the local economy but increased during seasonal peaks, due to higher demand by tourists and visitors).

The environmental issues targeted refer to both the direct impacts of car traffic (both internal and incoming flows) and freight transport (incoming flows + local distribution + inner/reverse logistics). The core objectives of ELBA include providing an integrated set of measures (services) addressing the above problems by:

  1. inducing a shift from private (car) mobility in the island by offering attractive public transport services operated by eco-friendly vehicles – flexible services dynamically responding to individual travel demand – to both residents (internal traffic) and tourists/visitors (incoming flows); i.e. less use of cars by residents, less needs to reach island destinations by own cars for tourists, thanks to the new demand-responsive services (demand-responsive transport from/to hotels and touristic destinations, personalised baggage delivery services, etc.);
  2. reducing the impacts of incoming freight flows through rationalisation and optimisation of delivery services already on the mainland side (freight consolidation services, optimised freight transport schedules, optimised load capacity in short sea transport mainland-island);
  3. rationalising freight distributions ("last mile" delivery) and logistics services e.g. inner logistics, outgoing freight flows) in Elba island by applying dynamic optimisation strategies that adapt freight transport to both current demand and traffic conditions.

The envisaged solutions are tightly interrelated and will be part of an integrated mobility management scheme delivering different measures (addressing the above mobility components) operated through a common Mobility Service Centre using flexible service provision, optimisation of transport and alternative, attractive services to private transport.

The adoption of such schemes will positively contribute to reducing the adverse effects of current mobility processes and practice in people and goods transport, and will lead to relevant improvements for the environment as well as for the quality of life in Elba island.

Autorità Portuale di Piombino (Piombino Port Authority) (IT)

Municipality of Rio Marina (IT)

Azienda Trasporti Livornesi (IT)

Softeco Sismat (IT)

MemEx Srl (IT)

Municipality of Kalymnos (GR)

Actions and means involved:

  • Design, implementation, adaptation and scale-up of flexible transport services for people - Demand Responsive Transport (DRT) - for different ELBA towns and villages, for Campo Airport passengers, for hotel guests, etc.;
  • Design and implementation of innovative logistics schemes and goods transfer and delivery services from Piombino Port (mainland side) to Elba Island and inside the insular territory (load consolidation on Piombino side, last mile delivery on Elba Island side, reverse logistics, van sharing for local deliveries, special deliveries for different categories - i.e. tourists, elderly, etc.);
  • Design and implementation of the required enabling ICT solutions (i.e. technological platform supporting service operation and coordination, web portal for info, services booking, virtual marketplace of freight delivery services, etc.);
  • Analysis of available vehicle and engine technologies and identification of the most suitable ecological vehicle types for ELBA services, ensuring pollution reduction (greenhouse gases, local emissions, noise and vibration) and rationalisation of energy use;
  • Specification of energy and environmental issues and goals, definition of reference indicators;
  • Comparative assessment of technologies, organisational models and implementation contexts, based on a common Measurements and Evaluation Plan;
  • Implementation of the supporting organisational and normative measures required to achieve the planned sustainable mobility policies;
  • Pilot demonstration and evaluation of the new ELBA services and flexible transport schemes for people and goods throughout a demonstration cycle including two consecutive high season peak periods (summer time), one at the onset of demonstration and one at the end, allowing thorough comparison of ELBA services and solutions and their impacts;
  • Evaluation of the ELBA mobility policies and regulations implemented, comparison with the national scenarios, through the involvement of a Board of national and local stakeholders;
  • Evaluation of transferability of ELBA approach and results, also at the European level through the involvement of the Local Authorities of the Greek island Kalymnos (Kalymnos Municipality – Dodecanese Region) with the support of the Thessaloniki University ;
  • Collection and build up of a best practice knowledge base on ELBA services implementation and operation and dissemination of these through a "Best Practice Guide";
  • Promotion and dissemination of results and of the implemented approach both on national and European level.
Project is runnig, stay tuned for results!



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Press release


Marco Boero

Marco Gorini

Know how - Mobility


EC Programme
Environment Policy and Governance

Grant agreement
N° LIFE09 ENV/IT/000111

Start date
October 2010

36 months

Autorità Portuale di Piombino
(Piombino Port Authority) (IT)


Sorry, available soon!