Rome's bus company ATAC is to lease 399 new buses, all of which will be in operation by 2014.

The vehicles will come in three sizes: 130 of the 18-metre buses, 169 of 12-m type and 100 of the smaller 7.5-m buses. The new buses have diesel Euro 5 engines and all are air-conditioned, with wheelchair facilities.

The larger buses will be fitted with enclosed security cabs for drivers and all will be equipped with video surveillance and Automatic Vehicle Monitoring (AVM), the system which transmits arrival times to information points at bus stops.

The vehicles will begin coming on stream by the spring of 2013, with all 399 buses due to be in circulation by the spring of 2014.

The current ATAC fleet comprises 2,213 vehicles, each with an average age of eight years. 360 of these buses have exceeded their recommended road life-span, set at 12 years.