Wednesday 19 and Thursday 20 March are shaping up to make movement in and around Milan difficult.
On Wednesday, the city’s local transport services will observe a full-day strike. ATM’s buses, trams and metro trains will run only during the two legally required windows for commuters – up to 08.45 and from 15.00 to 18.00. Trenord regional services will follow a slightly different timetable: in this case the morning window will be from 06.00 to 09.00, and the evening one from 18.00 to 21.00. Trenord advises that services to Malpensa airport will be guaranteed by buses: the timetables are available here.
Travellers heading for other cities on Wednesday should be aware that these strikes are nationwide, but at different times in each city. So they may wish to check what local transport will be available at their destination.
These strikes are a protest that the national labour contracts have not been reviewed. They were originally scheduled for 5 March, but then postponed because of bad weather.
On Thursday 20 March, Milan’s taxi drivers will cross their arms from 08.00 to 22.00 in protest against what they see as unfair competition by the Uber limo service, which uses a smartphone app to locate the limo nearest to the caller and direct it to the customer. Taxi drivers will also be protesting against the long-standing competition by unlicensed operators. Striking cabbies will hold meetings in Piazza San Babila, as well as perhaps at Linate airport and the central railway station, and may march on the Prefecture to air their grievances.
This strike, too, was originally planned for an earlier date, but then postponed to avoid discomfort for visitors to the city during the fashion shows.
Meanwhile, atmospheric pollution will probably lead the city administration to call a halt to Euro-3 category diesel vehicles, also on Thursday 20th. At the time of writing, the decision has not yet been announced. If this should happen, many comuni in the hinterland are likely to follow suit. The hours usually applied for this kind of traffic block are from 08.30 to 18.00, or from 07.30 to 10.00 for delivery vehicles.