City in Italy Uses GPS Tracking to Reward Eco-Friendly Bike Riders with Ice Cream, Beer, and Movie Tickets

9 Jan 2018

Residents of Bologna, Italy can now participate in a program that rewards them for making eco-friendly decisions. The initiative, dubbed Bella Mossa, offers incentives such as free ice cream, movie tickets and beer from April to September. To gain these free rewards, residents simply need to download an app on their smartphone called Better Points. Next, residents need to make the decision to either walk, take public transportation or bicycle through the city rather than traveling with their own personal vehicle.


Participants can log and track up to four journeys each day. Points are given to each participant based on the number of trips they have taken regardless of the distance traversed.

To maintain the integrity of the program, the application utilizes the smartphone’s GPS tracker to verify each entry. A user’s GPS data can confirm the type of transportation utilized and the distance traveled. As an added bonus feature, the app will also inform the user how much carbon dioxide was saved by choosing to use alternative transportation on each trip.

This inventive and innovative program was brainstormed by Marco Amdori, an urban planner, back in 2017. The idea was an instant hit, and both Bologna’s local government and the European Union were so thrilled with the concept that they helped fund the development of the program. During the app’s testing phase last year, participants logged an incredible 3.7 million kilometers of eco-friendly travel throughout the city.

Last month, Bologna won the CIVITAS “Bold Measure Award” for the Bella Mossa app. The award is given each year to the city that acts as a pioneer in adopting certain approaches that are likely to become widespread in the future. During the award ceremony, the city’s Mayor, Irene Priolo, explained that the app “has been one of the most effective tools to promote sustainable mobility in our city.”

BBC News reports that an overwhelming 100 businesses around Bologna city have agreed to join the Better Points program. Points accrued on the app can be redeemed at these local businesses. While this program is currently restricted to residents of the city, Bologna officials are working on new methods that will help encourage tourists to also join in on the socially responsible practices.




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