The 50-cent price hike will come into effect from July 1st, after Milan's public transport company officially signed off on the proposed reform on Wednesday.
The change makes single fares more expensive than in Rome, where a ticket valid for 100 minutes on the metro, buses, trams and trains costs €1.50. Passengers in Milan currently pay the same amount for an 'urban' ticket that allows them 90 minutes of travel on public transport within the city centre, but not to outer Milan or the Fieramilano exhibition centre that hosts some of the city's biggest international events.
The new €2 tickets will cover both the centre and the outskirts, including Fieramilano and the Assago business hub, says the agency that manages public transport in Milan and surrounding areas, Agenzia TPL.
The agency says the higher fares will offer passengers better value for money, notably by allowing them to take multiple trips on the metro within the 90-minute validity period (currently, in Milan as well as Rome, passengers can only make a single journey – in other words, your ticket will allow you to transfer but not to pass back through the metro barriers once you've exited).
Passengers who buy a carnet of ten tickets will also be able to split them with other people, instead of being restricted to using them all themselves. Carnets are currently €13.80 but from July will cost €18.
There will also be price increases for daily, weekly and monthly passes:
- One-day pass: from €4.50 to €7
- One-week pass: from €11.30 to €17
- One-month pass: from €35 to €39
The price of a yearly pass, however, will remain unchanged at €330. And people under 26 or over 65 will continue to benefit from the same discounted rates they currently pay for monthly (€22 or €30 respectively) and annual (€200 or €300) passes, as will low-income passengers.
Meanwhile families might actually save some money under the price reforms, since children under 14 will be allowed to travel for free. Milan's current cut-off point for free travel is age 10.
In Rome, where an annual pass costs just €250, tickets are cheaper but the service is arguably worse. The capital has three metro lines compared to Milan's four, which between them cover around 100 km; in Rome, the route measures just 60 km.
Waiting for the bus in Rome. Photo: Filippo Monteforte/AFP
Milan's public transport is also considered more reliable than Rome's, prompting the majority of residents to rely on cars or scooters for their daily commutes.
Roman buses are chronically late and sporadically burst into flames, while faults on escalators have now kept three central metro stations – Repubblica, Spagna and Barberini, the closest stops to the Trevi Fountain and Spanish Steps – closed for weeks.
Further travel woes are on their way in August, when Rome's Line A will be closed almost entirely for urgent maintenance work on the tracks. The line, used by an average of 450,000 people each day, will be out of action between Ottaviano and Anagnina, leaving only five stops in the west of Rome operating.