AMT (Azienda Mobilità e Trasporti – Transportation and Transit Agency) is Genova’s municipal pubblic transport operator, operating a network formed of 140 urban bus lines, a 14Km-long trolleybus line, a 7Km-long subway line (operated with Light-Rail-esque vehicles), a considerable water bus network, two funiculars (San’t Anna, 385m and Zecca-Righi, 1428m with five intermediate stops) and five pubblic elevators, among those the highly unique and unconventional Ascensore Castello D’Albertis-Montegalletto, part vertical elevator, part horizontal funicular.
Since 2010, AMT also manages the Genova-Casella railway, a beautiful and scenic 24Km-long 950mm narrow-gauge mountain railway electrified at 3000v DC that winds up it’s way trough the appenine mountains, connecting Genova to the small town of Casella.
AMT has it’s origins in the UITE company (Unione Italiana Tramways* Elettrici – “Italian Electric Tramways Amalagamated Company”), a privately-owned company that was established in 1985 by the German AEG and gradually absorbed all various smaller operators of tramway lines in Genova. UITE came into italian ownership with the outbreak of the 1st world war, and in 1927 most shares of the company were acquired by the city council.
In 1965, UITE was fully absorbed by the municipal government, wich soon renamed it to “Azienda Municipalizzata Trasporti” (“Municipal Transport Company”). By that time, most of the once extensive tramway network had been shrunk to a fraction of it’s former glory, and by 1966 the last surviving lines were closed. Some were converted into trolleybus lines, but these also eventually closed by 1973.
By the late 1970s however, the issues posed by the ever-increasing motor traffic were becoming evident, and in need of an urgent solution. In response, various plans were drawn up for an eventual return of tramways in Genova, albeit as reasonably modern system. Around the same time, the National Government proposed the creation of a subway-like system in Genova, partly re-using former railway tunnes, and soon enough, both projects were merged in what is today’s Genova’s only subway line. Barred the original “tramway” project, the Genova subway was originally meant to be a german-style Stadtbahn network, with high-platform trains able to run in mixed right-of-way. However, due to various normative issues, this unfortunately never materialized, and the Genova subway was built with a (slightly more expensive) full-metro infrastructure, completely segregated from road traffic, albeit still served with high-platform LRV-style trains.
The first, tiny, section of the Genova subway, just 2,5Km with two stations, Brin and Dinegro, opened on the 13th of June 1990, and was gradually extended eastwards, reaching the current eastern terminus of Brignole in 2012. Plans to extend the subway have been in place even since it’s opening: a westwards expansion toward Rivarolo having been present since the origina subway plans of the 1980s, and in more recent times, an extension of the subway along the Bisagno valley has been proposed several times, altough both have been long-delayed by various funding constraints.
AMT itself (recently renamed to the current Azienda Mobilità e Trasporti – Transportation and Transit Agency) is a fully pubblicly-owned company structured as a private S.p.A. (Società Per Azioni, the equivalent to the us Inc. or German Gmbh), with almost 95% of the shares in the hands of the Genova municipal govenrment, and the remaining subdivided between the other municipal governments of cities served by AMT.
Several attempts at privatizing AMT have been made in the past decade – among those a sale of the interurban bus network to private companies (later merged into one, ATP, wich was re-acquired by the muncipal government and re-merged into AMT in 2021), the acquisition of the french Transdev (the “long arm” of paris’ RATP) of 41% of AMT shares in 2005 (later relinquished in 2013) and various attempts at “concessioning-out” 20 assorted bus lines to private operators in 2016.
Luckily, as of now, AMT is still firmly in pubblic ownership.