40 years old and dangerous tracks and half of the buses in service for 15 years

Among the findings that the Court of Auditors moved to Rome capital city on the management of investee companies, many concern the financial statements of Attack, the municipal company that manages public transport in the capital. The starting point is the analysis of the maintenance costs of the vehicles: 42 million euros were spent in 2019 alone, 4 million more, equal to 11 percent, compared to 2018. According to Atac, the explanation of this increase it is easy to provide: “In recent years, delays in the implementation of maintenance plans have accumulated due to limited financial resources: despite the solicitations in Roma Capitale and the Lazio Region, the financing of extraordinary maintenance on infrastructures and plants owned by them has been small and the maintenance requirement has increased due to the aging of the plants, for some of which the technical end-of-life time is even exceeded “.

Old tracks and ‘dead’ and dangerous buses: that’s why they are on fire

Obsolete buses with higher maintenance costs and an outdated metro and railway network. At the end of 2020, half of Atac’s bus fleet was over 15 years old, with a life cycle of 10-12 years. The tracks of Metro A are 40 years old, compared to a life cycle of 30 years. Same story for most of line B, even if the Termini-Garbatella section has tracks that are not yet old. As for the trams, Atac has made it known that the network has an age of the tracks ranging from 25 to 40 years for 75 percent and therefore most of the line has exceeded, in some cases by far, the technical life for the rails, generally equal to 25 years. The company also reported that the situation is “very worrying both in Metro A and on the Rome – Viterbo railway where there are the most worrying situations from the point of view of both age (Metro A) and the geometric peculiarity of the route. railway Rome – Viterbo which involve more important maintenance activities and therefore costly to carry out to ensure the regularity and safety of the operation “.

Even older trams: 49 date back to 1948

It is no better with regard to buses: compared to a fleet of 2001 vehicles as of 10 December 2020, about half, that is 1019 buses in particular, are over 15 years old and are therefore obsolete, polluting and expensive: the life cycle in this case is 10-12 years and the old cars are mostly euro 2 and euro 3 diesel vehicles. “The age of part of the bus fleet also appears to be an element linked to reliability and service safety. From the latter point of view, during the investigation it was requested to highlight any critical issues found in the maintenance of the buses, with implicit reference to the problem of obsolete buses, for which recurrent fires have occurred “, the Court notes. of the Accounts. It should be noted, however, that during the Rays administration a total of over 600 new buses were put into service (as can be seen in the table).

The trams are even older: there are some, in fact, which date back to 1948 and are therefore 72 years old (there are a total of 49, of which 10 are to be demolished and therefore do not fall within the available fleet). Finally, of the approximately 60 electric, and therefore non-polluting, minibuses, only 19 were used along the streets of the historic center of the capital.

Atac however points out that in January 2019 an agreement was signed between Roma Capitale and the Ministry of Transport which “regulates the carrying out of multiple extraordinary maintenance interventions on the infrastructures and trains of the subways, for a total value of assigned resources of approximately 426 millions”. In addition, in the 2021-2023 Investments program, approximately 46 million have been allocated for extraordinary maintenance of the network. The Court of Auditors points out that the necessary investments can be “financed, even if only in part, by EU resources, which can be further increased by possible resources deriving from the PNRR which, from this point of view, represents an opportunity of undoubted interest, among other things , for the renewal of the networks and fleet of the capital “.

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