Calls for tighter ticket controls on Rome buses

Proposal to put ATAC managers to work as ticket inspectors.

If the Partito Democratico (PD) majority of Rome's city assembly has its way the 1,200 managers and administrative staff of the capital's public transport company ATAC will have to work on the buses as ticket inspectors for “at least one day a week”.

The radical proposal comes amid a current shortage of ticket inspectors, following more than 1,000 redundancies at the troubled company. The move would cut down on ticket dodgers and should be put in place before the upcoming Holy Jubilee Year, when the capital's transport network will face an influx of pilgrims, according to proposals put to the city council on 17 September.

The head of ATAC Francesco Micheli replied that from the start of October the company would have 200 employees, "including executives and administrative staff of ATAC”, working as inspectors across Rome for "two or three days a week, not once in a while."

The PD proposal also suggests that bus drivers departing from major stations such as Termini, Tiburtina and Anagnina should act as ticket inspectors – to avoid ticket dodging – with passengers only allowed to board the buses through the front doors.

This proposal was quickly dismissed by the capital's transport councillor Stefano Esposito who reacted by saying: "Do you really think that in Rome the buses will move faster if the driver has to check everyone's tickets? This [proposal] would not resolve the problem at the next stop."