Busitalia, ATAF fleet: twelve new hybrid buses

Fleet renewed by 60%, with 50 million euro invested

Florence, 12 September 2019

An additional dozen new hybrid buses have been added to the ATAF Gestioni (Busitalia, FS Italiane Group) fleet for increasingly sustainable mobility in the metropolitan city of Florence. Unveiled today in Piazza Santissima Annunziata in the presence of Dario Nardella, Mayor of Florence, Vincenzo Ceccarelli, Councillor for Transport of Tuscany, Stefano Rossi, CEO of Busitalia and Chairman of ATAF Gestioni, and Stefano Bonora, CEO of ATAF Gestioni.

The 12 new buses were purchased by ATAF Gestioni under the bridge contract entered into with the Tuscan Region. The investment comes to approximately 3 million euro, of which around 54% is financed by the Region.

Passengers in Florence’s urban public transport system have increased to 95 million over the last five years. More than 10 million trips per year are made on public transport, highlighted Stefano Rossi, CEO of Busitalia and Chairman of ATAF Gestioni. “In addition to the renewal of the bus fleet, ATAF Gestioni has contributed in recent years to the transformation and growth of Florentine public mobility with investments of over 50 million-euro, fielding initiatives and projects representing the various stages of the trip. Today marks another important step of the journey undertaken by ATAF Gestioni with the acquisition of ATAF in December 2012.

12 new hybrid buses entering into service represents a further step in the modernisation of the ATAF Gestioni fleet, towards increasingly sustainable mobility,” declared Stefano Bonora, Chief Executive Officer of ATAF Gestioni. “The fleet has been 60% renewed and today, ATAF Gestioni has one of the youngest fleets (with an average age of seven years) and one of the most environmentally-friendly (with over 80% of the fleet being electric, Euro 5/6 or CNG) in Europe. ATAF Gestioni, a company managed and controlled by the Ferrovie dello Stato Italiane Group, has put into service 209 buses for public transport in Florence in the last five years.

The new Mercedes CitaroC2 CHY, 12-metre hybrid buses, combine the high-performance standards of comfort and safety of travelling with the demands of sustainable mobility, further reducing consumption and pollutant emissions.

Thanks to the use of an electric motor and supercapacitors in combination with the traditional endothermic motor, they are able to accumulate energy during the journey that is then released upon maximum motor exertion, resulting in reduced fuel consumption and pollutant emissions. In addition, buses are equipped with an on-board video surveillance system to protect the safety of passengers and staff, along with monitors that provide information and news about the transport service and the travel experience.

Over the years, the ATAF Gestioni transport network has been completely reorganised according to the gradual commissioning of the Florence tramway network, with the aim of facilitating rail/road integration along with enhancing and improving the public service throughout the metropolitan area.

Transported passengers increased from 85 million in 2013 to over 95 million in 2018—an inclination that is constantly on the rise and which corresponds to an improvement in the level of customer satisfaction.

The operations carried out by ATAF Gestioni also brought significant environmental benefits to Florence both as a result of the renewal of the fleet—with an estimated reduction in pollutant emissions of CO2 into the atmosphere corresponding to those produced by 2,000 cars—and due to people’s increased use of public transport for their travels (more than 10 million trips per year were carried out via public transport services).

ATAF Gestioni’s staff contributed to the success of the initiatives, in addition to the large investments that exceeded 50 million-euro, part of which was allocated by the Region. 250 new hires have been made in the last three years alone.

Within the context of modal integration, operations ranged from the adoption of a new livery coordinated with that of Trenitalia's regional suburban and railway services to the Unica Toscana smart card, along with the integration of information provided at stops in real time with that of suburban services.

A share of important investments was allocated to technological innovation to improve the purchase and use of travel tickets. From April 2018, 70,000 Unica Toscana smart cards and around 40,000 Student Passes for the University of Florence were issued for use of the transport services. In addition, the capillarity of the sales network has increased with the introduction of online purchase and the recent Florence Cashless Experience initiative, which permits ticket purchases aboard ATAF Gestioni buses with payment via credit card of ATAF&Linea tickets at 1.50 euro each (at no extra charge).

The initiatives effectuated from 2012 to today have been aimed at improving the efficiency of the company and the quality of the travel experience (before, during and after), with the aim of stimulating people to choose collective public transport services for their travels, being a prerequisite for sustainable economic and environmental growth. Amongst the initial projects is “Salita Anteriore” (encouraging travellers to board via the front of the bus) that, since 2013, has radically changed the habits of public transport in Florence, with the arrival of the first two-door buses.