Transportation is a cornerstone of trip planning if you want to see more than just the hotel lobby. Is there decent public transportation where you’re going or do you need to rent a car? How walkable is it? What do the locals ride, pedal, or fly in to get around (You don’t know. Maybe they have flying cars there. Do you want to miss out on your first flying car because you’re bad at research?)? But now, one Italian city is trying to take the guesswork out of transportation logistics (and do their part to save the planet)—all while offering up free gelato and beer.
According to the BBC, Bologna’s Bella Mossa program will reward you with beer, gelato, movie tickets, and more if you opt to bike, walk, or take public transportation instead of driving. You download the app, log each journey, earn points, and use your points for rewards. You can even compete with friends, which is an extra bonus for those of us who compete in everything like we’ve been possessed by demons. CAROLE, YOU FOOL, YOU DROVE TO MEET US AT THE FOUNTAIN OF NEPTUNE? SOUNDS LIKE NO BIRRA GRATIS FOR YOU, CAROLE.
The program—cheekily meaning “well done” or “good job” in Italian—is an attempt to get residents and visitors alike to be more eco-conscious while roving around the city. There are, however, a few caveats to the program — like points are earned on a trip-by-trip basis rather than based on distance. According to officials, this will ensure that people use the program frequently, rather than just for occasional long journeys. Further, you can only log four trips per day in order to incentivize long-term usage.
And for those who play Pokémon Go, the following feature will be no surprise: a GPS tracker ensures that there’ll be no cheating.
While we’re strong believers in using public transportation and cycling for their own rewards, there’s nothing wrong with a little external motivation if it gets people to leave their cars in the dust. Sure, it’s not great to require a bribe in order to do the right thing, but we’ll take what we can get. And if what we can get is some free stuff, we’re in. Especially if it comes in the form of cioccolato in un cono.