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IMPORTANT NEW RULES FOR TRAVEL ON TRENITALIA REGIONAL TRAINS EFF. AUGUST 5

GAC

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Trenitalia has some important new rules for traveling on its unreserved regionale and regionale veloce trains, effective August 5, 2023. The changes affect travel when using an ELECTRONIC ticket purchased through the website or web app, NOT when using a PAPER ticket purchased at a ticket machine or manned ticket window.

NEW RULES FOR TRAVEL ON A REGIONALE TRAIN WITH AN ELECTRONIC TICKET (now called "Biglietto Digitale Regionale" or "BDR"):

1. These tickets are purchased from the Trenitalia website or app using a credit or debit card;
2. You must select a specific regionale train for a specific time and day, and are not free to board any other train;
3. Prior to 23:59 (Italy time) of the day prior to your selected travel date, you may change the departure time or day of your regionale train;
4. On the day of travel, you may still change the departure TIME to a different train, but cannot do so after you have "checked in" to your originally selected train;
5. On your travel day, and prior to boarding your train, you MUST "check in" to your selected train online OR by hyperlinking to the "check in" tab on the ticket confirmation you received by e-mail or SMS when you purchased the ticket online or through the app. If you don't "check in" you will be deemed to be traveling without a valid ticket and risk being fined!!! Once you "check in" the electronic record of your selected train will reflect a "convalidato" script and a green bar below to reflect that the ticket is now valid for use.
6. Make sure that the electronic record of your ticket (on your cell phone, tablet or PC), or a paper copy thereof, has a scannable QR Code as well as the green validation bar reflecting that you have "checked in", as you MAY be asked to show this by the ticket controller on the train. You should also have picture identification with your name which must match the name on the electronic record of the ticket.

Here is a summary of the new rules, from the Trenitalia website (in Italian):


WHAT RULES HAVE NOT CHANGED: the PAPER ticket for the regionale train purchased from a ticket machine or at a manned ticket window at the rail station:

1. These traditional PAPER tickets can be used on any regionale train departing on your selected DAY of travel (but NOT on a different day);
2. The PAPER ticket MUST be validated in the little green validation machine at the head of the rail track prior to boarding. Once validated, it is valid for FOUR HOURS (there are a few exceptions on certain very specific routes), and you can make intermediate stops (i.e. break your journey and reboard a later train) within the 4-hour validity. If the 4 hours expire while still on the train, you can continue to your final destination without further breaking your journey.

A WORD ABOUT TICKET REFUNDS FOR CANCELLED REGIONALE TICKETS NOT DUE TO ACTS OR OMISSIONS OF TRENITALIA:

If a ticket holder wants to cancel his train trip and apply for a refund of the regionale ticket (whether a digital ticket or a paper ticket), the following must be remembered:

1. The ticket refund request must be made no later than 23:59 (Italy time) on the day PRIOR to scheduled train departure;
2. There is a 20% refund fee withheld; and
3. There is no refund whatsoever if the refund amount (after deducting the 20% withholding fee) is 8 Euros or less.
 
So, if you have reserved seats and travelling on a Frecciarossa Train this does not apply?
 
No. These new rules concern only Trenitalia unreserved regionale trains with tickets purchased in electronic format on the Trenitalia website or app. They do not apply to Trenitalia unreserved regionale tickets purchased in traditional paper format from a ticket machine or at a staffed ticket sales window at the train station.

Trenitalia Frecciarossa, Frecciargento, Frecciabianca and Intercity trains are also NOT covered by these changes, because they are not unreserved regionale trains. It is conceivable that the "check-in" requirement might IN THE FUTURE apply also to the Freccia/Intercity trains, but not at the moment. In any case, if such changes were made in the future for the Freccia/Intercity trains, they would be clearly highlighted on the Trenitalia website.
 
SOME ADDITIONAL COMMENTS CONCERNING THE NEW BIGLIETTO DIGITALE REGIONALE ("BDR") FOR TRENITALIA REGIONALE TRAINS (not the reserved Freccia/Intercity trains):

Q. What happens if your selected Regionale train is running late, and you want to take a different Regionale train to your final destination?

A. Do not check in for your selected train. Instead, prior to its SCHEDULED departure time, make a change to a different Regionale train to your destination on the same day which is not running late. However, if you do want to take the originally scheduled train (even if running late), you must check in to that train prior to its SCHEDULED departure time.

Q. Once the check in is completed, what is the validity of the BDR?

A. The ticket technically expires on the SCHEDULED arrival time of the train. Nevertheless, you are allowed to complete your journey even if your train in running late.

Q. If your trip involves more than one Regionale train (i.e. with one or more connections), do you need to check in for each train?

A. NO, if your journey involving more than one Regionale train is documented on a single ticket, you only check in for the first Regionale train. However, if you have purchased separate electronic tickets for each Regionale train, you must check in for all the trains.

Q. If you miss your connecting Regionale train (not due to your fault) what happens?

A. You can take the NEXT scheduled Regionale train to your final destination, at no additional cost. However, if you are connecting to a Trenitalia RESERVED train (Freccia/Intercity), and you miss that connection (not due to your fault), you must contact a Trenitalia agent to secure a substitute reservation (at no additional cost) on the next available Freccia/Intercity train to your final destination.

Here is summary of the rules for the new BDR (in Italian):


Here are the complete rules (in Italian):



NOTE: The foregoing comments pertain to the new Biglietto Digitale Regionale (BDR) for Trenitalia unreserved Regionale and Regionale Veloce trains purchased on the Trentalia website or app.
They do NOT apply to traditional PAPER tickets for Trenitalia Regionale/Regionale Veloce trains purchased from a ticket machine or a staffed ticket window, NOR to the Trenitalia reserved Freccia and Intercity trains.
 
Trenitalia has some important new rules for traveling on its unreserved regionale and regionale veloce trains, effective August 5, 2023. The changes affect travel when using an ELECTRONIC ticket purchased through the website or web app, NOT when using a PAPER ticket purchased at a ticket machine or manned ticket window.

NEW RULES FOR TRAVEL ON A REGIONALE TRAIN WITH AN ELECTRONIC TICKET (now called "Biglietto Digitale Regionale" or "BDR"):

1. These tickets are purchased from the Trenitalia website or app using a credit or debit card;
2. You must select a specific regionale train for a specific time and day, and are not free to board any other train;
3. Prior to 23:59 (Italy time) of the day prior to your selected travel date, you may change the departure time or day of your regionale train;
4. On the day of travel, you may still change the departure TIME to a different train, but cannot do so after you have "checked in" to your originally selected train;
5. On your travel day, and prior to boarding your train, you MUST "check in" to your selected train online OR by hyperlinking to the "check in" tab on the ticket confirmation you received by e-mail or SMS when you purchased the ticket online or through the app. If you don't "check in" you will be deemed to be traveling without a valid ticket and risk being fined!!! Once you "check in" the electronic record of your selected train will reflect a "convalidato" script and a green bar below to reflect that the ticket is now valid for use.
6. Make sure that the electronic record of your ticket (on your cell phone, tablet or PC), or a paper copy thereof, has a scannable QR Code as well as the green validation bar reflecting that you have "checked in", as you MAY be asked to show this by the ticket controller on the train. You should also have picture identification with your name which must match the name on the electronic record of the ticket.

Here is a summary of the new rules, from the Trenitalia website (in Italian):


WHAT RULES HAVE NOT CHANGED: the PAPER ticket for the regionale train purchased from a ticket machine or at a manned ticket window at the rail station:

1. These traditional PAPER tickets can be used on any regionale train departing on your selected DAY of travel (but NOT on a different day);
2. The PAPER ticket MUST be validated in the little green validation machine at the head of the rail track prior to boarding. Once validated, it is valid for FOUR HOURS (there are a few exceptions on certain very specific routes), and you can make intermediate stops (i.e. break your journey and reboard a later train) within the 4-hour validity. If the 4 hours expire while still on the train, you can continue to your final destination without further breaking your journey.

A WORD ABOUT TICKET REFUNDS FOR CANCELLED REGIONALE TICKETS NOT DUE TO ACTS OR OMISSIONS OF TRENITALIA:

If a ticket holder wants to cancel his train trip and apply for a refund of the regionale ticket (whether a digital ticket or a paper ticket), the following must be remembered:

1. The ticket refund request must be made no later than 23:59 (Italy time) on the day PRIOR to scheduled train departure;
2. There is a 20% refund fee withheld; and
3. There is no refund whatsoever if the refund amount (after deducting the 20% withholding fee) is 8 Euros or less.
Not a whole lot has changed with regard to using the Trenitalia App. What I did notice is that there is a big change to the ability to change the train you take. In the past, if wanted to take an earlier or later regionale going to the same destination, you could do so within four hours on either side of your reservation. Now, from your posting, it appears that the four hour window no longer applies? The other change is the requirement to check in using the app. In the past, if you had an e-ticket and hadn't checked in, the capo di treno would just ask to see the QR code and scan it with her/his iPad. If you had checked in using the app, the capo would just skip you when they were checking tickets. Now it appears that you are being required to check in. By the way, I always save a copy of each ticket in my digital wallet. I'm an Apple user and it's easy on that platform. I assume that there is similar functionality using Android devices. At least with an iPhone, the ticket is stored locally on your device, so if the internet connection is bad when the capo came by, you still had a QR code to display.
 
Wow - I just read the information on the Trenitalia site and they no longer provide a method for adding the ticket to your digital wallet. It's even more important to make sure you have sufficient battery life in your phone to display the ticket. Yet another reason to carry a couple of spare charged power banks.
 
To answer your question, the 4-hour window to take a later regionale train to your final destination no longer applies to Trenitalia ELECTRONIC tickets PURCHASED ONLINE OR THROUGH THE TRENITALIA APP. Beginning August 5, the following rules apply:

2. You must select a specific regionale train for a specific time and day, and are not free to board any other train;
3. Prior to 23:59 (Italy time) of the day prior to your selected travel date, you may change the departure time or day of your regionale train;
4. On the day of travel, you may still change the departure TIME to a different train, but cannot do so after you have "checked in" to your originally selected train;

As for the "check in" requirement, my sense is that this is to facilitate the work of the train ticket inspectors, who will be able to carry out their duties much faster and more efficiently. Because Trenitalia regionale trains carry commuters and are very crowded during commute hours, having to individually check everybody's electronic ticket is very time consuming, to the point that some/many tickets may not even get checked. I suppose that those who forget to check in will be given an oral warning/reprimand rather than being fined, at least until the new rules have been largely understood and "digested" by the tens of thousands of passengers who take these trains on a daily basis.

THESE NEW RULES DO NOT APPLY TO TRENITALIA REGIONALE TICKETS PURCHASED IN PAPER FORMAT AT A TICKET MACHINE OR AT A MANNED SALES COUNTER, NOR TO TRENITALIA RESERVED FRECCIA AND INTERCITY TRAINS. Existing rules for these tickets have not changed.
 
I ALWAYS carry a PAPER copy of my electronic train ticket (whether for an unreserved regionale train or a reserved Freccia/Intercity train), because you never know whether you'll have good internet reception (especially when in a long tunnel crossing the Apennine Mountains between Florence and Bologna), nor whether your cell phone/electronic device battery may suddenly run out. Make sure that your paper copy has a readable QR Code.
 
I ALWAYS carry a PAPER copy of my electronic train ticket (whether for an unreserved regionale train or a reserved Freccia/Intercity train), because you never know whether you'll have good internet reception (especially when in a long tunnel crossing the Apennine Mountains between Florence and Bologna), nor whether your cell phone/electronic device battery may suddenly run out. Make sure that your paper copy has a readable QR Code.
That's excellent advice, but while I'm usually in Italy for 2 or 3 months at a time, I rarely have a printer in my accommodations. Of course I sometimes have local friends in the neighborhood who might oblige, or, in bigger cities, find a copy shop. I think I'll try just making a screenshot of the ticket/qr code and save it on my phone. That should work.
 
SIGNIFICANT UPDATED INFORMATION:

These are UNOFFICIAL BEST PRACTICES confirmed to me in person a couple of days ago by Trenitalia customer service agents in Florence, concerning MISSED CONNECTIONS to Trenitalia regionale trains for which the traveler has an ELECTRONIC ticket:

If you have ALREADY CHECKED IN ONLINE to the regionale train: you technically are only supposed to travel on that particular regionale train for which you have checked in (and you cannot modify the ticket after check in). This is obviously impossible if you have MISSED the connection! Speak with a Trenitalia customer service agent at the connecting station, who may very well advise you to simply board the next useful regionale train to your final destination. If you don't have time to do this at the connecting station because the next useful train is about to leave, and if you prefer to jump on the next regionale train to your final destination, BE SURE to flag down a Trenitalia ticket controller on the regionale train you board and explain that you missed your connection. You probably won't be fined, at least until Trenitalia firms up its rules for electronic ticket regionale train travel. I was told that Trenitalia has been issuing deferrals of enforcement rules for the regionale trains to give the public more time to fully digest the electronic ticket online check in requirements for these trains. These deferrals are going to cease at some point. Maybe soon, maybe not soon.

If you have NOT already checked in online to the regionale train, YOU ARE SUPPOSED TO MODIFY YOUR ELECTRONIC TICKET ONLINE to a later connecting regionale train which you are sure to be able to board, then check in online to that later train. If you don't do this and simply board the next useful regionale train to your final destination, BE SURE to flag down a Trenitalia ticket controller on the train you board and explain that you missed your connection. Hopefully you won't get fined. Electronic tickets for the Trenitalia regionale trains for which online check in has NOT been done can be MODIFIED up until midnight of the day for which the electronic ticket has been issued EVEN IF THIS IS PAST THE SCHEDULED DEPARTURE TIME OF THE TRAIN (however, you CANNOT check in online after the SCHEDULED departure time of the train).

NOTE THE DISTINCTION BETWEEN THE CHECK IN DEADLINE AND THE MODIFICATION DEADLINE: THEY ARE DIFFERENT!!!

These foregoing best practices are subject to change as Trenitalia issues new guidance in respect of regionale train travel using ELECTRONIC tickets.

Are you confused enough by the foregoing explanations? If so, I suggest buying PAPER tickets for the Trenitalia regionale trains from any rail station in Italy which has Trenitalia ticket machines or Trenitalia staffed ticket sales windows. Be sure to enter the correct travel dates and originating/arriving train stations, using the Italian names. Trenitalia PAPER tickets for the regionale trains which are not yet validated can be used on any regionale train between the city pairs noted on the ticket and departing up to midnight of the specific travel date selected. They must be manually validated (inserted in the little green validation machines) at the train station prior to boarding the train and remain valid after validation for four (4) hours***. You should not validate the ticket too early, such as at an originating train station when you are going to connect to the regionale train at a later connecting station (since you may miss the connection or use up the 4 hours*** prior to reaching the connecting station). At the same time, don't FORGET to validate the PAPER ticket for the regionale train in the rush to connect between trains!!! (If you do forget, BE SURE to flag down a Trenitalia ticket controller on the regionale train you have boarded and tell her that you forgot to validate the ticket. That way, you almost certainly will not get fined).

*** PAPER tickets for the airport trains between Rome (Termini/Tiburtina/Ostiense/Trastevere) and FCO airport expire 90 minutes after validation. THIS INCLUDES THE LEONARDO DA VINCI NONSTOP AIRPORT TRAIN between Roma Termini and FCO. This is an exception to the 4-hour validation rule. There are a few other exceptions as well.
 

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