Damiano Coletta, Mayor of Latina, Italy, talks about the mobility challenges that he chose to tackle with Cilia Italia, RATP Dev’s subsidiary in the province of Lazio, 70 km south of Rome.
Since July 2018, Latina’s 125,000 inhabitants have been experiencing an unprecedented form of mobility. With its fleet of connected vehicles, Cilia Italia is offering Lazio’s citizens an urban bus service that is more frequent, regular and secure. A necessary revolution for the city in Italy with the highest number of vehicles compared to residents, who culturally are not adept at using public transport.
Latina is Lazio’s second-largest municipality by number of residents. What are the main challenges in terms of mobility and public transport?
I think that the challenge for this city is chiefly cultural. Public transport has never really been part of the mindset of Latina’s residents, either in the city or out-of-town when, in fact, it should be a necessity there. Their habits are gradually changing due to several factors such as the change in management and a new fleet of buses, in addition to public awareness campaigns concerning ticket purchases and the need to obey rules.
In 2018, the Municipality of Latina decided to award the public transport service contract to Cilia Italia. How and why did you make this choice?
We thought we needed to renew the entire fleet to meet sustainable mobility and accessibility requirements. We hadn’t issued a call for tender for some time and we believed it was the right time to do it.
The new management began in July. What do you think of the new service? Have you received positive feedback from transport users?
We have received very positive feedback from users both in terms of the comfort of the new buses and the introduction of fare checks. The aesthetics, together with functionality and accessibility, are what make the service so appealing.
What steps is the Municipality intending to take next with respect to its mobility objectives?
The next stage involves optimizing the transport service in line with its effective use. We want to adapt bus timetables and routes so that the service becomes extremely effective and efficient, especially regarding journey times. Public transport should become part of the mindset of city dwellers.