Rome, 19 January 2017
«In Italy, 80% of people still use the car and this is the largest local public transport failure,» this is the message of Renato Mazzoncini, CEO of Gruppo FS Italiane, at the thirteenth conference of ASSTRA.
But the CEO of FS also showed the solution of Italian railways to reverse the trend, many times shown as a pillar of the 2017-2026 Industrial Plan: be integrated with companies that work and think about possible acquisition of those with problems because “given we are a chain, a single ring can damage the whole system.”
The yearly conference titled “Public transport: an investment for the future” is also an opportunity to address the issue of competition in transport and international development of Gruppo FS Italiane, with the last acquisitions in Great Britain and Greece.
But in the European market, Mazzoncini underlined that “we must debunk the myth that a big company is unproductive and then we can be an efficient player.” Furthermore, the liberalization season in Europe has shown that transport companies, in a competitive market, can achieve important results.
The discussion then moved to the internal market, where the competition was at the centre of the discussion of the Madia decree, in a broader public administration reform, which introduced tenders with smaller lots, promoting medium-small transport companies. According to Mazzoncini, Busitalia, road transport company of the Gruppo, is creating competition in the Country because, through the participation to tenders around Italy, it is improving the competition. Thanks to this strategy, Gruppo FS Italiane wants to achieve the 25% of the local public road transport market in a few years.
Mazzoncini then returned on rail transport, highlighting that for what concerns the long-distance, Italy is the most liberalized country in the world, but for regional transport, until now, there have been only a few public competitions. In a few years, thanks to the liberalization of the European market, “we could be, at the end of the 2019, with the whole road transport, which represents about 2/3 of the PLT, and the long-distance railway both liberalized, and this will be a good step forward.”
But the challenge, for Mazzoncini, is especially the management model of regional railway transport, where we need to recover the gap accumulated in the last years and where we still have a problem of quality.
The CEO's solution is to have efficient contracts and safe and comfortable trains, with a lower age-average. On this last point, Mazzoncini recalled the recent tender of 4.5 billion euro for 500 regional trains that, within three years, will begin to serve commuters, thanks to the new Service contracts subscribed by Regions and Trenitalia.