Interreg AI Smart meets Public administrators for Bari-Otranto Metromare

The Mobility Department of Puglia Region organized the public meeting “Bari-Otranto regional maritime connection service (Metromare): discussion with the Public Administrations and the private sector on the scenarios of the service and on the Technical-Functional Feasibility Study”. The initiative is part of the project AI SMART “Adriatic Ionian Small Port Network” in the frame of the Stakeholder consultation process.

The AI SMART project aims to implement and develop a common port network in the Adriatic-Ionian area, based on the concept of “smart, green and integrated port” and aimed at connecting in a “sustainable corridor” the small ports of the cross-border countries involved, and promoting short sea maritime transport, as part of intermodal TEN T corridors and a vital lever for the development of sustainable modes of transport, in accordance with the objectives of the European Strategy 2020, for smart growth, enabling valorization of the natural and landscape resources of the hinterland.

The event, which was opened with a general overview of the AI SMART project, saw a discussion between the Working groups, focused on the Technical-Functional Feasibility Study relating to the Bari-Otranto regional maritime connection service (Metromare). The objective of the METROMARE service is to intercept the demand for tourist-passenger transport identifying within small ports the interchange nodes in correspondence with the tourist, historical and environmental settlements on the coast. This model tends to promote the enjoyment of the Apulian coast from Bari to Otranto both “from the sea” and “on land” by enhancing the environmental, cultural and food and wine heritage, integrating the existing public and private mobility services. In this way, it will be possible to meet the existing diversified tourism demand and create an innovative offer capable of attracting new “green thinking” tourism, promoting sustainable alternative ways to private cars, on available market segments not covered by other economically self-sustaining services.

A precious occasion, this, that allowed to share with the territorial stakeholders, the potential scenarios and opportunities of activating of the maritime connection, and to identify the one of greatest interest, through the involvement of experts and operators in the sector from both public entities (Public Administration, Port System Authority, Port Authorities, Local Public Transport, etc.) and private operators (Shipowners, Agents, Tourism Operators, etc.).