Rome, 16 January 2019
There are now 300 railway stations managed by the 14 Sala Blu locations of the Rete Ferroviaria Italiana (FS Italiane Group).
This is thanks to the extension of the assistance circuit for people with disabilities and reduced mobility - even whereby temporary. Coming into effect today, 20 new sites will be operating across 12 regions. This comes as yet another sign of FS Italiane Group's focus on the needs of travellers, with the aim of improving the quality of travel and the lives of millions of people who use the train to get around each day.
“The expansion of the Sala Blu assistance circuit allows us to be even closer to those travelling aboard our trains each day and passing through our stations,” affirmed Gianfranco Battisti, CEO and General Director of FS Italiane. “Travellers and their needs are at the heart of FS Italiane Group’s strategies and actions as we work towards achieving ever higher standards of quality and efficiency.”
“The commitment of Rete Ferroviaria Italiana in terms of accessibility,” states Maurizio Gentile, CEO and General Director of RFI, “means that today, there are 300 stations - from Italy’s north to south - that are part of the Sala Blu network nationally. This fundamentally important service is flanked by the programme of structural and technological operations that we are enacting in our stations to eliminate architectural barriers and ensure that all travellers may move about in autonomy.”
Since 2011, when activities started on behalf of RFI, the number of services provided free of charge at the railway stations belonging to the Sala Blu network has more than doubled, rising from 150,000 to about 360,000 at the end of 2018.
In detail, here are the new stations included in the circuit:
Lombardy: Busto Arsizio and Porto Ceresio
Friuli Venezia Giulia: Sacile
Liguria: Finale Ligure Marina, Genova Sestri Ponente Aeroporto and Loano
Tuscany: Montevarchi-Terranuova and Pontedera-Casciana Terme
Lazio: Roma Trastevere, Valle Aurelia, Monterotondo-Mentana and Maccarese-Fregene
Apulia: Bari Torre a Mare
Basilicata: Ferrandina-Scalo Matera and Metaponto
Campania: Pietrarsa-San Giorgio a Cremano
Sicily: Punta Raisi
In addition to these are the stations of Trani and Mola di Bari in Apulia, which joined the circuit in December 2018.
Also worth noting is the Leonardo da Vinci-Fiumicino Airport railway station, where - thanks to the collaboration agreement signed with the Rome Airports - travellers can request an integrated train/plane assistance service.
The 14 Sala Blu sites in which the operations are coordinated and managed, are found in the main Italian stations (Ancona, Bari Centrale, Bologna Centrale, Firenze Santa Maria Novella, Genova Principe, Messina Centrale, Milano Centrale, Napoli Centrale, Reggio Calabria Centrale, Roma Termini, Torino Porta Nuova, Trieste Centrale, Venezia Santa Lucia e Verona Porta Nuova), and are open daily from 6:45 am to 9:30 pm.
The number of “fast” stations, where only one hour's notice is required to book the service, has doubled in the last 5 years to reach 30 today. The provision of around 400 new lifts to assist people in wheelchairs is also nearing completion.
Those interested in the service can book by sending an email to one of the 14 national Sala Blu locations or by calling the toll-free number (via landline within Italy) 800 906060 or through the national line +39 02 323232 (accessible by landline and mobile telephone, at a fee).
Thanks to the Sala Blu online portal, it is possible to request assistance directly via the internet, with a minimum notice of 24 hours, saving time by registering your personal details, contact information and specifications regarding travel needs. More information on the Sala Blu services can be found on the website rfi.it.