The majority of the investment - some €42bn - is dedicated towards infrastructure, including €28bn for new railway lines and €14bn for roads. €12bn is allocated to support the procurement of new trains and buses with €2bn reserved for metros and €2bn for IT services. A total of €6bn will be spent across all sectors on new technologies and digitalisation.
The company says internal resources will support 24% of the cost of the plan which is expected to create 120,000 jobs per year as well as 15,000 direct hires over the five years. The plan is expected to contribute a 0.7-0.9% increase to Italy’s GDP as well as help improve performance at FS: revenues are expected to increase to €16.9bn in 2023 while Ebitda will reach €3.3bn and net profit €800m.
FS says the plan’s objective is to transform collective mobility in Italy by significantly improving quality and personalisation of the transport offer. In particular the company is looking to enhance connections between stations, ports and airports. FS is also aiming to improve its reach in Europe, and will set up a new company dedicated to activities in non-European markets. The company plans to offer management services for high-speed, conventional and metro projects as well as for infrastructure, freight and logistics services and specialist consultancy services. It is hoped this work will contribute significantly to the expected increase in company revenues.
At home, a major emphasis of the plan is to improve regional services, including the procurement of 600 new regional trains with 239 expected to be delivered up to 2023. An additional 14 Frecciarossa 1000 high-speed trains will be ordered to aid the growth of high-speed services while 714 new wagons and 100 new electric locomotives will support the expected growth in rail freight transport.
FS is also set to redefine its transport offer by launching five new types of service characterised by specific frequencies of departure: eight minutes for urban services; 30 minutes for suburban and inter-regional; 60 for regional; and 15 for ‘Fly to Connect.’
In addition, the railway is planning to boost security and customer service staff by 800 people and introduce regional customer care facilities. This will be supported by free call centres, digital services, chatbots for customer information and assistance, and a simplified and immediate reimbursement system. The railway also hopes to improve services for more than 20 million tourists by offering a wide range of integrated mobility options with the goal of boosting access to popular tourist destinations and better distributing flows of people.
Rail infrastructure investments will prioritise ongoing projects in the south of the country, including the Terzo Valico project between Genoa and Novo Ligure; the Brenner Pass project; Brescia - Verona - Padua; Naples - Bari; and Palermo - Catania - Messina. The railway will also seek to improve punctuality by 5% in regional transport and 10% for freight transport investing €5.5bn. This includes the progressive rollout of ERTMS on the conventional network, which will increase track capacity and reduce congestion. €5.3bn is also set aside to improve railway junctions, regenerate urban spaces and improve urban mobility.
New technology investments will focus on applications of robotics and drones, the Internet of Things (IoT), artificial intelligence, and blockchain processes. FS will similarly introduce predictive diagnostics processes for both infrastructure and fleet while the railway is planning to establish three centres of excellence: FS Technology, FS International and FS Security.