The local public transport may be the key to reducing CO2, thanks to its main strengths: the sharing of routes and in most cases the electric thrust. But how to make it attractive to the private car, which is instead a guarantee of freedom of time and movement? In Europe some are trying to give an answer; there Germany, for example, it introduced the 9 euro monthly ticket for the summer; in Spain local and medium-distance trains, from September to December, will even be free. It’s Italy?
Italy is a place where the car is preferred. A survey by ISFORT (Higher Institute of Training and Research for Transport) reveals that in 2019 out of 100 average daily trips (working days) 62.5% had been made by car and only 10.8% with a public transport (including taxis and car sharing). In the north and in the center, public transport is more used than in the south, and the one who exploits it the most is the student, who in fact has no other means available than the classic moped. Metro users are also relatively few, because the networks are not as extensive as elsewhere in Europe.
According to the periodical L’Economia, based on the data presented in the Mims Report and collected in the main Italian and European cities and on the OECD data on per capita income in cities, “in Italy the fares for a single journey are much lower than the European average. Only Milan has a price higher than the median of the cities considered. But if you compare the prices to the average income, the main cities of the Center North have relatively cheap tickets, while in some cities of the South the fares are less. Against a cost of the ticket which is about 15% lower in the whole of the provincial capitals of the South, the per capita GDP in the area is equal to 55% of that of the Center North. If in the cities where the income is lower, the tickets, when paid, cost more, before making the service free, efficiency can be increased“.
It is therefore difficult to set up a free offer in Italy, given the national disparities. In particular, in the southern part of the country, transport companies are more inclined to have their accounts in the red, and the National Transport Fund has a greater impact on covering expenses. Furthermore, in the south, the operator’s remuneration is not influenced by demand and there are few calls for tenders. In general, thinking in particular of the railway routes from north to south, users are often overwhelmed by serious delays and inefficiencies, elements that can undermine trust; if certain routes were free but rarely on time, who would gain? Therefore, implement a transport decision that is equally applicable throughout the territory it is very difficult.
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