Long distance bus routes: development outlook

Italian vs European regulatory scenario

Rome, 13 July 2017

The latest regulatory developments and the development outlook for the long distance bus sector were discussed at Rome Tiburtina during the Lunga percorrenza bus, lo scenario evolutivo conference, by Renato Mazzoncini CEO and MD of FS Italiane, Giuseppe Catalano from the Technical Structure Mission at the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructures, Andrea Camanzi, President of the Transport Regulation Authority, Stefano Rossi CEO of Busitalia and Mariella De Florio CEO of Busitalia Simet.

The event was an important opportunity for clarifying the spirit and impact of the new regulatory and industrial developments in the long distance bus market, which is currently growing strongly both in terms of volumes and demand, with strong competition among operators.

The reasons for this expansion clearly lie in the characteristics of this mode of travel: a particularly flexible passenger transport system that can respond to changes in passenger demand much faster than other long distance travel methods, with industrial models that can guarantee smart prices dedicated to travellers who are less sensitive to journey time, combined with vehicles offering high levels of comfort, assistance, safety, Wi-Fi connection and on-board services.

Given the lack, for now, of specific EU regulations, the sector is currently regulated differently from country to country. Nonetheless, we are seeing a process of market liberalization that has allowed the entry of new operators in France and Germany. In Italy, where liberalization has led to a profound change in the competitive scenario, the market - which was initially highly fragmented - is undergoing a gradual consolidation. According to national legislation, direct competition for long distance bus routes is only possible if crossing at least three regions. The other services remain under regional law, and are regulated along with local public transport (LPT).

Busitalia's Fast service, a new offer by FS Italiane Group in the national and international market, is part of this constantly evolving scenario.

In recent months, Busitalia Fast has seen 20% growth in the number of passengers transported.

The most recent new features presented by the company during the conference aim to make it easier to plan and book a journey for customers, by offering integrated access to the fsbusitaliafast.it site through the dedicated area on trenitalia.com.

Modal integration, capillary and flexible services, new routes in Italy and abroad, digitalization and fast sales channels are the strong points of Busitalia Fast, which with its fleet of 60 new generation coaches (average age 3 years) connects 15 Italian regions and more than 90 cities in Italy and Germany.