Mobility is one of the most complex challenges facing modern society. A growing propensity towards the movement is in fact in contrast with the search for a reduction in the impacts on environmental and natural resources. The best quality of life and the health of the people and territory remain the primary objectives.

Changes to come in the field of mobility

  • Shared mobility is set to double, growing at a rate of 9% per year from now to 2030;
  • Ageing of the Italian population, with the presence of more than 30% over-65s expected to increase by more than 3 million people compared to today;
  • An increased concentration of the population in large cities, with an impact on traffic and liveability of the centres and suburbs;
  • New work formats: already today, over 250,000 have already adopted “smart” forms of work with reduced presence in offices, changing the phenomenon of commuting;
  • Increasing importance of air quality and pollution reduction, with a growth of up to 15% in private electric vehicles and up to 100% electric buses.

How people’s habits will change

Continuous change is on the way in terms of how people inform, choose and purchase goods and services online, foreseeing:

  • 100% of Italians will be connected to mobile devices through high-capacity telecommunication networks (5G and so on);
  • 40% of Italians will use multimodal integration platforms in mobility-as-a-service mode;
  • 1-in-4 purchases will be made online, resulting in stress on the logistics system and an increase in the number of vehicles for deliveries to cities.

Rail transport as a response to change

In view of such important transformations, we need to adopt a strategy for change in order to grow and develop the Italian system. Rail transport in particular can make a major contribution.

By improving the proportion of journeys with high environmental performance, such as rail transport, collective road transport or shared systems, it is possible to make a significant contribution to the reduction of many negative impacts, such as polluting emissions and those with an impact on climate. Energy efficiency, renewable energies, redesign of production cycles and modal shifts towards vehicles with low environmental impact are the necessary measures for the transport sector.

In terms of energy and emissions, rail transport is amongst the most energy-efficient and low-emission transport systems. In view of share of traffic, people and freight—which in Europe stands at around 9%—carbon dioxide emissions from rail transport amount to only 2.9% of total mobility emissions. To give another example, the CO2 emissions of a traveller opting for the train average 75% less than what would have been emitted if they had travelled by plane and 60% less than would have been issued if they had travelled by car. Moreover, electrified rail transport can also benefit from an electric mix that utilises increasingly renewable sources at a national level (more than 30%).