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Cotral S.p.A. is an Italian public company 100% owned by Regione Lazio, the local government authority.

Cotral S.p.A. is in charge of public transportation in the whole Lazio area, except for the urban transportations in Rome.



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Cotral choose Google Maps Platform for helping them to provide to their passengers and traffic controllers with accurate, real-time information. The Italian Public Transportation company, aims to digitize customer's journey thanks to our geolocation capabilities and has multiple projects on their way.



      • Inform bus transportation users with accurate real-time information, more complete and more personalized.

      • Help customers locate and choose tickets point of sales by using interactive maps


Increase in the number of people choosing Cotral application for public transport control  

“Our fleet counts more than 1,600 buses, entrusted to 2,500 bus drivers. We perform more than 8,600 rides, 75 million kilometres each year transporting 200.000 passengers every day (more than 70,000,000 persons each year)”, said Paolo Castagno, Head of the Technical Area Organizational Unit at Cotral. Buses are managed by almost 50 local stations all over our region.

Cotral’s goals are regulated by a deal with Regione Lazio where are described all the requirements the transportation company needs to fulfil in order to keep providing the public transportation service. “We constantly work to complete our goals by optimizing timetables and working shifts. Also nowadays customers want to be better informed about their journey and in real time (delays, cancellations, changes in routes, timing, etc.)”, explains Paolo Castagno.

Google Maps Platform to power with location data both internal and external tools

Most of the time, commuters use Cotral to go to work or to school. Like all European countries, Italy is promoting sustainable mobility in order to reduce CO2 emissions responsible for global warming. Communication campaigns encourage people to change their mind and habits to privilege public transports for their daily trips. Cotral is very careful about environmental protection, hence the company tries to provide useful, sustainable and reliable service for the citizens in the Lazio region. “We compete on the transportation market, and our toughest competitor is the use of private cars to move. Our low fares are key to be attractive, but still, there are cultural habits to change and they are not the easiest ones to change, but we keep working on it” specifies Paolo Castagno.

To achieve the objectives mentioned above, Cotral has invested on Google Maps Platform to power with location data both internal and external tools, “we have deployed applications to provide information about our fleet with real time position featured on an interactive map and we can’t develop our own system to render this important information” says the Head of the Technical Area Organizational Unit.

Real time data & accuracy are key to dispatch buses properly

Cotral IT Department is composed of a small team and couldn’t afford to spend too much time to deploy mapping-based applications as Paolo Castagno said: “we were looking for a ready-to-use solution. Something we could start with and then customize to fit our specific needs. Maps Javascript API was the most obvious choice to make. Also the online Google Developers documentation with code samples to start with, was exactly what we were in need of”.

Cotral has been using Google Maps Javascript API to locate buses on a map since 2016. This helps commuters and travellers to plan and manage their bus rides. The mapping application is available on Cotral public website and the mobile app. Also traffic regulators watch traffic flow in order to monitor the service status in real time (traffic jams, road works, …). Cotral has developed a Store Locator to help people to buy tickets and/or subscriptions. “Our customers can check their bus position on the map, thus knowing the waiting time at the stop, but also our employees can check if buses are on time, and can complete their ride before the scheduled departure time for the next one”.

" We were looking for a ready-to-use solution. Something we could start with and then customize to fit our specific needs. Google Maps Javascript API was the most obvious choice to make. "

— Paolo Castagno,
Head of the Technical Area Organizational Unit at Cotral

Cotral had conducted a customer satisfaction survey in 2018 via social networks. ”We asked our customers their preferred app to check public transport, including our own app (using Google solutions both for cartography and for fleet/sales point location) and our partner applications such as Moovit and Citymapper (we provide them with both programmed service and real time data), and our app resulted the preferred one by far!”, pursues Paolo Castagno.

For the Italian transport company, location topic is critical. “For us being able to locate our fleet in real time and with accuracy, is very important. Our users expect this level of detail to know where their bus is, at what time the next bus will arrive. This location data is important for us too because we use it to update the bus dispatch. For example, during rush hours, we need to adapt our offer in regards with ride duration to complete a trip and add more buses to transport more people in better conditions”, elaborates Cotral’s Manager.

During the last years our employees gained a more accurate awareness about the importance of having an accurate planning of routes and buses, since those information started to be published to our customers, hence – after some initial opposition – we now have 98% rates of needed information provided in time for being useful to customers. Before the same rate was about 65%.

Web Geo Services helped Cotral at the early stage of their use of Google Maps. “WGS team helped us to understand the Google Maps APIs usage policy. The Customer Care team worked closely with our technical teams to implement APIs properly in our systems. WGS constantly supported by monitoring our usages and alerting us about some issues found on unnecessary calls to geolocation services. In addition to this, they helped us to understand how to use the developer console”, tells Paolo Castagno.

Cotral is planning to create an app dedicated to its drivers. "The idea is to better assist our driver to follow an itinerary. We want to provide them with an application that will highlight the road to take", said Paolo. Head of the Technical Area Organizational Unit told also that Cotral is currently developing a new public APP that will increase customized services to passengers, including geographic-related data such as an alert when the bus of user's favourite route is approaching, or when it is time to get off from the bus you’re travelling in, and so on.

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