COVID-19: Association warns of public-transport chaos

Halving capacity would force 275,000 to walk says Asstra

(ANSA) - ROME, OCT 13 - Asstra, the association representing Italy's public-transport companies, on Tuesday warned that there would be chaos if the authorities decided to further reduce the maximum capacity on vehicles from the current level of 80% as part of the effort to combat COVID-19.
    It said that reducing capacity to 50% would "impede around 275,000 people from benefiting" from public transport services.
    The association added that rather than reducing the risk of contagion, this would lead to crowds forming at bus stops and train and metro stations.
    If the people unable to use public transport opted to use their own vehicles, Asstra said this would lead to between 42,000 and 250,000 more car trips each day in Italy in the morning rush hour alone.
    Antonio De Caro, the head of local-authorities association ANCI, said school and work routines would have to change to make reducing public-transport capacity possible.
    "Capacity on public transport vehicles must not go over 80%," De Caro told RAI radio.
    "We would like to lower this percentage. The CTS (panel of experts advising the government) spoke of 50% to be tranquil, but we need more vehicles and resources.
    "We are using all the vehicles in circulation. The transport companies cannot do any more.
    "The only option is to differentiate the times of entering and leaving school and go back to smart working like it was a few months ago". (ANSA).


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