Supporting measures to rail and intermodal transport
A few days ago, the European Commission has approved, under EU State aid rules, Italian aid measures to support the shift of freight transport from road to rail in the area of the Port of Genoa. The goal is to encourage the use of rail transport and intermodal solutions in the context of serious disruptions to the local transport network, severely impacted by the collapse of the Morandi bridge in August 2018. The EU decision released an overall budget of Eur 9 million, in the form of subsidies to logistics companies and multimodal transport operators, which have been able to maintain or to increase the share of freight transported by rail from and to the Port of Genoa over the 15 months following the collapse of the bridge. Support will also be granted, to the concessionaire of rail services in the Port of Genoa to compensate the additional costs borne due to the infrastructural disruption over the same period. The Commission found that the aid is beneficial for the environment, as it supports rail transport and mobility, which is less polluting than road transport, while also decreasing road congestion. This is particularly important in this case due to the severe disruptions in traffic and connectivity experienced by the city of Genoa as a result of the collapse of the Morandi bridge in 2018. The Western Ligurian Sea Port Authority trusts that this decision can become a first step towards a stronger role of public bodies to encourage and to govern the development of a more sustainable transport service between the ports of Genoa and their hinterland.