Decision time for Rome's Metro C

First section of Metro C to open in October

City authorities are meeting to decide whether Rome's Metro C will have its terminus in Piazza Venezia or whether to continue the 21.5-km line further, to Piazzale Clodio in Prati, beyond the Vatican, or the Farnesina ministry for foreign affairs, in Flaminio in north Rome.

The future remains uncertain for Italy's biggest and most expensive infrastructural project but the capital's transport councillor Guido Improta said a decision is imminent. Speaking during the launch of mobility week, Improta said: "We must decide definitively whether the station of Piazza Venezia will be a terminal, or a pass-through station. This is a political problem that we will solve this week, or at most by next week, with the mayor Marino, the [Lazio] Region, and the ministry of infrastructure."

The metro line is funded as far as Piazza Venezia, thanks to a recent injection of €300 million from the Italian government as part of the Sblocca Italia fund for infrastructural projects. How the city plans to fund the project beyond that remains a mystery however, as public funds have finished.

In addition the section between a possible station in Piazza Venezia and one in Prati has already turned up numerous archaeological finds. The station once planned at Largo Argentina was abandonned several years ago and the one at Chiesa Nuova is also problematic. At present the map on the Metro C website only goes as far at Fori Imperiali, with even the section from there to Piazza Venezia in doubt.

The first section of Metro C is scheduled to open between Pantano and Centocelle on 11 October, and will be open to the public from 10.00 until 18.00. Works are ongoing at S. Giovanni, where Metro C will eventually connect with Metro A, and at the Colosseum, where it will connect with Metro B.

The seven-year project will cost €792 million and will cover a three-km stretch including two metro stops: Amba Aradam-Ipponio and Fori Imperiali-Colosseo. The troubled Metro C project has been beset with difficulties since it started in 1990, from massive funding overspends to lengthy delays and abandonment of planned stations caused by the discovery of archaeological remains underground.

In 2012 the audit court president Luigi Giampaolino said that it seemed set to become “the most expensive and slowest public works project in Europe and the world.” Since construction began 24 years ago, the cost of the project has risen from €1.9 to over €5 billion and the route remains far from completion.