|Owner||State of Montecara (80.5%)|
Publicly traded (19.5%)
|Transit type||Rapid transit, tram, bus, ferry|
|Track gauge||1500 mm standard gauge|
|Electrification||25 kV / 50 Hz AC Overhead lines|
VM, originally Viafèra de Montecara (Montecaran, Railway of Montecara) and colloquially known as Vimo, is a mobility solutions company based in Montecara. It was created by law on 1 December 1941 to amalgamate the trams and narrow-gauge steam and electric train lines that crisscrossed Montecara into a single corporation owned by the state. Its purview grew over the years to include management of ports and airports (including Montecara–Enrico Dulio International Airport and the Port of Montecara) and a significant portfolio of real estate, functioning as both a transit operator and a port authority. It currently provides transit services in Montecara and under contract in cities around the world in addition to managing global port and airport infrastructure. The Montecaran state retains a controlling interest in the company.
Rail transport in Montecara dates back to 1854, when the city-state’s first railroad was constructed from Porta Nuova to Gabalòn, a distance of 12 km. The line carried cargo and passengers on trains powered by steam-driven locomotives, but was essentially a novelty until a more robust network of rails was developed over the following decades. Longer-distance services were complemented with local tram service beginning in 1867, when a single horse-drawn tram line began operating along Aviènd Zubizarreta. Early rail lines were built and operated as private ventures, most notably by the Conpània Integràl da Viafèra (CIV), a joint-stock corporation that aimed to dominate the domestic railway market.
VM is a majority state-owned enterprise under the effective control of the Montecaran state. The government appoints the entire board of directors and owns over 80% of the company's stock; the remaining approximately 20% of stock consists of preferred shares that are publicly traded on the Borse Mercànte de Montecara and which are senior to the government-owned common stock in terms of payment but which do not carry any votes or other right to governance.
Rapid transit routes are branded as Metrovìa. These are designed to move passengers quickly between districts within the urban area of Montecara and between the center city and outlying areas. Stations are generally spaced between 500 and 1500 meters apart, equivalent to a 5 to 15-minute walk.
The tram network, branded as Tranvìa, operates smaller, older trams that run in mixed traffic and provides curbside service along their entire route. These vehicles have been left in service because they are capable of climbing steep hills and navigating tight corners, and there is no viable modern alternative mode that is capable of serving their routes. Indeed, in many of these areas, they are the only means of wheeled transport aside from bicycles. Trams run daily from at least 6:00 to 23:00, though they may run less frequently during off-peak hours, weekends, and public holidays.
VM operates two types of bus service: Autobùs, a typical transit bus service, and Corièra, which provides longer-distance limited-stop services between the urban center of Montecara and outlying communes, particularly those not well-served by rail.
Autobùs vehicles have all been low-floor since 2009. Certain crowded areas have dedicated lanes and signal priority that allow buses to maintain a relatively high speed compared to other traffic. VM is in the process of converting its entire Autobùs fleet to electric buses, with the goal of having a 100% electric fleet by 2022.
Corièra coaches are equipped with larger, more comfortable seats as well as a toilet and, in newer models, power outlets at every seat.
VM's ferry service is branded as Vaporèt. The Montecaran state took over a number of unprofitable ferry lines in 1890, turning them into a single public marine transit company that would later become part of VM. The service currently operates routes across the Bay of Montecara, connecting areas that do not have direct links via bridges or tunnels.
All services use a proof of payment model without faregates; there are random ticket inspections aboard transit vehicles.
Tickets are sold at vending machines at train stations and many tram and bus stops, at ticket desks at major stations, at tobacconists' shops, and by mail. Tickets are not sold on board transit vehicles except for buses and trams, on which passengers may buy a single-ride ticket only (exact change in coins required). Tickets must be validated prior to use.
|Single-ride (90 minutes)||Ł10|
Most residents of Montecara take advantage of the ability to use the Ùnivers card, the national identification card, as a transit pass. The Ùnivers card can be loaded with fares online or at ticket machines located at all rail stations, and inspectors are equipped with scanners that can quickly validate it.
Penalties for riding without a ticket vary from as low as Ł300 and ejection at the next stop for a first offense, to Ł1000 or more for repeat offenses. Penalties are administered and collected by VM and do not fall under criminal law. Traveling with an invalid ticket type, such as a reduced-fare ticket when ineligible for one, is treated the same as traveling without a ticket.
Reduced-fare tickets are half the regular price. They are available to passengers aged 62 or over, students, the disabled, and those receiving state aid. Reduced-fare tickets are sold at all ticket vending locations. It is up to the passenger to prove eligibility by carrying valid identification.
Port and airport operations
In its capacity as the operator for Montecara–Enrico Dulio International Airport and the Port of Montecara, VM is responsible for handling nearly all cargo movement in and out of Montecara as well as the vast majority of passenger movements.