Anybody out there who loves the English language and . . . ?

Anybody out there who loves the English language in all its splendid nuances and who might like to lend a hand with the following?

Our friend and colleague Enrico Bonfatti and his team of volunteers are publishing some very interesting articles in our sister publication Nuova Mobilità – — in which they are reporting on challenges and innovations from Italian cities and groups, postings which I am sure the readers of World Streets would do well to know more about.

But if the articles are going to be a fast and enjoyable read here on World Streets (always our target) it will be important that they are presented in clear idiomatic English — and while Google Translate can be useful  as a first step, we think it would be better if some English-loving soul could come in from time to time and help us fine-tune the machine translations. Some knowledge of Italian is a help, but more important, I would say, is a good feel for our topics and a capacity for writing well in English. And if you run into areas of uncertainty with the Italian original , Enrico and I will always be there to lend a hand.

Should you be even a bit tempted, here is an example: a short report that appeared in N/M today telling about an Italian innovational project that combines hitchhiking and car-pooling. You can find the Italian original at, and for the rough Google transition, it’s attached.

Any ideas for us?


Eric Britton and Enrico Bonfatti

Jungo!A bit ‘car pooling, a bit’ hitchhiking.pdf


One thought on “Anybody out there who loves the English language and . . . ?

  1. Raccogliendo l’invito, ho cercato di correggere gli errori di traduzione più vistosi che ho trovato nell’intervista in questione. Il risultato non è certo perfetto – vista la mia insufficiente conoscenza della lingua inglese – ma spero migliore della versione precedente, che immagino potesse risultare in alcuni punti incomprensibile per un anglofono. Di seguito la traduzione rivista.
    Un cordiale saluto.

    Jungo! A bit ‘car pooling, a bit’ hitchhiking.
    Posted on March 18, 2011 by Henry Bonfatti

    Today Gloria Gelmi, area mobility manager of the Province of Bergamo, tells us about a way to get around that offers flexibility of hitchhiking combined with security of car pool: that is Jungo, an experience started in Trentino more than a year ago and that requires very few resources to be initiated. It is now available, although not yet operational
    (requires a minimum critical mass of users), even in the province of Bergamo.
    Never like in these times we realize that it is improper to entrust our ability to move to the availability of fossil fuels that we have not (!) and that we must buy from other countries,
    often also governed by despicable people whom it would not be appropriate even have a coffee with. Beyond the political and environmental reasons which require urgent revolution in the national energy strategy, the present situation leads many to reduce car use simply because of the price of petrol and diesel in constant (and perhaps unjustified) increase. On the other hand, those who can not help but using it would have great pleasure by trying to contain costs, perhaps through a share in the trip (and costs) made by other people. Jungo fits this context: it’s a highly innovative system for sustainable mobility which combines flexibility of hitchhiking with benefits of car pool. Gloria Gelmi, area mobility manager of the Province of Bergamo, shows us the service in this interview.
    What is Jungo? How does it work? What is the difference from traditional systems of car pool?

    Jungo is a new way to travel, that exploits the enormous amount of empty seats in constant movement on the roads. It combines the flexibility of hitchhiking with the benefits that an organized car pool could offer: guarantees of security, mutual economic self-interest (with standardized mileage allowance for the driver), opportunities for
    socialization, reduced number of vehicles in circulation (resulting in less congestion, pollution, noise, accidents, stress …). It started in Trentino, with a pilot project first in the world, run by the homonymous association. In 2010, the Province of Bergamo launched it in its own territory, and several other governments are going to follow its example.
    The idea of Jungo is simple: if we introduce “armored” devices for mutual security, and the opportunity of an economic advantage also for the driver, giving and taking lifts becomes much easier and enjoyable. The “propensity to board” increases and waiting times decrease, new participants are attracted, a mechanism of gradual withdrawal from the car is sparked.
    The traditional car pool requires a prior agreement to share a certain route and to balance the timing of participants, whether within a family, or among co-workers, or among strangers known through a dedicated website. Jungo members, on the other hand, may ask for a ride simply by showing their membership card (instead of the thumb used to hitch-hike): car drivers who are Jungo members – or who know Jungo anyway – know that the gesture identifies a secure and paying hitchhiker, whit whom it will be nice (besides cost-effective) to share part of the way.
    Therefore Jungo is characterized by more freedom (from constraints of timetables, stops, routes) compared to carpool and also to public transport: in theory you can “jung” on any road and at any time, but obviously the chances of getting a ride are directly proportional to traffic and knowledge of Jungo in a given area. In Trentino, in 2010, with fewer
    than 500 Jungo members, the average waiting time for a lift was 8.7 minutes for men and 6.9 minutes for women. For comparison, the average wait for hitchhiking – monitored in May 2008 – was 22 minutes to 11 minutes for men and women. Not to mention the difference in mutual security, missing in hitchhiking.

    As in all projects that try to aggregate unknown people, the issue of security and mutual trust is essential. What are Jungo’s tools to facilitate the sharing of journeys among strangers?

    By showing his card, a Jungo member assures that:
    1. he has no previous criminal record;
    2. he has not been excluded from Jungo (exclusion for misbehavior is the result of a complex and unique process activated by reports);
    3. he is “traceable”, at the boarding time, by a text message containing his username. Similarly, the driver is traceable, even if not a Jungo member (by plate or license).
    Women, if they want to feel safer, may indicate that their demand for boarding is given only to other women: they just have to show the card with the pink ribbon (delivered with the card).

    The cooperative aspect and sense of community behind this initiative seems a strong factor for success. However, it is not to forget the savings / economic gain received by all parties (drivers and passengers). What are the fares and how are payments regulated?

    It is set for each lift a “reimbursement” of 10cent/km (5cent/Km for travel beyond 20 km) + a “fixed” 20cent’s, that the Jjungo member pays in cash to the driver. On the website is easy to calculate the annual savings achieved by those who offer and those who receive the lift. However In the Trentino experience we have seen that the car driver often refuses the pay. Jungo membership costs 15 € a year; thanks to a still valid promotion it is free for the first 100 people from Bergamo.

    Therefore Jungo, in the spirit of sharing vehicles and movements, can significantly reduce consumption (and expense) of fuel, with a high efficiency recovery. What are the results in the areas where Jungo was launched?

    I do not think it is possible to quantify the fuel consumption reduction yet, but I still refer to the website of Jungo for the available data, including those on cost savings which are quantifiable. For example, a Jungo member who regularly embarks passengers, for a cumulative mileage of 20,000 km/year, splitted into 2,000 routes, and who would spend about 4,000 € in gasoline, can recover about 2,400 €.

    From your experience as an area mobility manager, what advice can you give to the authorities who wish to adopt Jungo to improve mobility in their territories?

    Although Jungo offers obvious advantages for everybody, finds it hard to get into our culture focused on private individual car use. And yet it will work only if widely known. Cultural changes are slow and hardly influenced by an administration, unless it has huge sums of money to finance hammering communication campaigns. In the case of the Province of Bergamo, the budget not only for Jungo, but for all the mobility management initiatives, in 2010 amounted to € zero, and so will it be in 2011. This means that the promotion of Jungo is occurring only through initiatives “zero cost”: information on the website and sent to mailing lists, newsletters, articles, speeches in local TV, conventions, meetings, events, involvement of partners, court records audit, registration desk … in short everything that can be done only thanks to mine and a colleague’s time and personal commitment. It’s hard – in these conditions – to give advice to other people. In Bergamo Jungo is a baby who has not made his first cries yet, because a sufficient “critical mass” was not reached yet. However there is a small team which is going to launch projects. And when all the about 60 current members get their cards, some bold will start to “jung”. Then I think that the example and word of mouth will trigger a chain reaction.

    In what situations do you think action is needed most urgently to improve the conditions of our mobility? Who is responsible for these actions?

    We are all responsible, every time we do not even wonder if getting on a car is avoidable. Obviously, however, politicians and public administrators could have the tools to direct citizens’ behaviour, if they wonted. But those measures would be considered unpopular, and therefore feared.

    Finally, your message, to whomever you want.

    In the past – having long worked on waste management, environmental awareness and local Agenda 21 – I was fond of quoting a Chinese proverb: “Many little things, done by many little people, in many small places, can change the face of the earth”. I still like it, as an invitation to do our part without delegating or waiting for other people, to act consistently with our ideals without fear of going against the tide and of looking dreamers.
    No matter if we are few at the beginning. Day by day, gradually and imperceptibly, every dominant culture changes, and sometimes comes to crumble.
    Official Website:

    Original article on the blog of Marco De Mitri

    Gloria Gelmi
    Area Mobility Manager of the Province of Bergamo. Experience in GIS, waste
    management, environmental education, Local Agenda 21 and public transport. Honours degree in Natural Sciences in 1987 at the University of Pavia. Thirty-year passion for eco-friendly lifestyles, alpine and sport climbing.


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