Genoa  21 March 2023 14:25

Efficiency, accessibility, and sustainability are at the heart of '4 Axes of Strength' project

The “4 Axes of Strength” project for local public transport in the City of Genoa (Italy) is on track. The integrated tender contract, worth EUR 177 million, has been signed between the City Council and the Consortium of companies formed by ICM (lead contractor), Leonardo, and Colas Rail.
The contract includes the executive design and the supply of civil works, plants, and technological infrastructure. It envisages the construction of a zero-polluting trolleybus system, which operates on four routes with efficient and sustainable coverage of the Genoa area from East to West and in the valleys, that pass through the city centre. The work, financed by the Ministry of Infrastructure and Transport and partly covered by PNRR funds, will begin in 2023.

"With the awarding of the works contract," says Genoa City Council's Councillor for Integrated Mobility and Transport, Matteo Campora, "the operational phase of the Superbus-4 Axes of Strength project to reorganise and modernise our local public transport system officially begins. We are talking about a new electric transport system based on the renewal of the fleet, the purchase of 145 vehicles, and the redevelopment of the garages: strategic lines of action that, when networked, will allow us to provide Genoa with a more efficient and zero-emission public transport system: a goal that will make our city into a national model of environmental sustainability".

There will be 145 trolley buses and electric buses and more than 300 smart bus shelters and stops serving 96 km of the 4 axes (Centre, East, West, Bisagno Valley). The project will be able to count on the best high-tech solutions developed by Leonardo, based on secure-by-design architectures and systems capable of countering even a cyber threat. Through the monitoring of reserved lanes, advanced video analysis algorithms and artificial intelligence for data processing, and traffic light preference (functionality for the dynamic management of traffic light priority in favour of public transport) this will ensure high travel speeds and compliance with timetables and frequencies; information boards, multimedia displays to improve the quality of the travel experience; emergency call points at bus stops for calling for help in support of the disabled, to increase accessibility and inclusiveness of the service. The 4 Axes of Strength will also use the most advanced security systems; all integrated and managed through Leonardo's platforms for monitoring and protecting data and strategic assets, installed in the current operations centre of Genoa's AMT (the municipality company dedicated to mobility and transports).

The biggest novelty is the flash charging technology, which will be applied to the electric buses on the Val Bisagno line and will make it possible to recharge the vehicles by taking advantage of the time passengers take to get on and off at the stops and at the terminus, with no impact on the timetable or speed of transport. Moreover, there will be no impact on the landscape, as the flash charging system does not require cables for power supply, respecting the aesthetic, architectural and urban planning constraints of the area. Thanks to the integration of information from charging stations, traffic monitoring systems and on-board sensors, it will also be possible to have up-to-date information at all times on the power status of electric vehicles and the time required for charging.

By pooling the skills and experience of ICM, the company that will coordinate the entire project and specialises in building and infrastructure works, Leonardo, a leader in high technology and integration of multi-domain solutions, and Colas Rail, an international player specialising in electrification systems, the 4 Axes of Strength system will showcase national excellence. The project will enable Genoa to equip itself with a highly accessible, efficient and sustainable local public transport system, able to offer a valid alternative to private means of transport, and to lead the way in adopting innovative solutions in other urban contexts.


ICM, active in large civil, industrial and infrastructural engineering works, is among the top ten national companies in Italy in terms of turnover, employees and order portfolio, as well as among the top two hundred and fifty international companies, according to the ENR ranking. In addition to the construction sector, the Group operates in the fields of environmental problem solving, real estate and finance. Group companies are members of the most qualified Italian and international associations and organisations.

Leonardo, a global high-technology company, is a leader in the international Aerospace, Defence and Security sector. Organised into five business divisions, Leonardo has a significant industrial presence in Italy, the United Kingdom, Poland and the USA, where it also operates through subsidiaries that include Leonardo DRS (defense electronics), and joint ventures and partnerships: ATR, MBDA, Telespazio, Thales Alenia Space and Avio. Leonardo competes in international markets by leveraging its areas of technological and product leadership (Helicopters, Aircraft, Aerostructures, Electronics, Cyber & Security Solutions and Space). Listed on the Milan Stock Exchange (LDO), in 2021 Leonardo recorded consolidated revenues of €14.1 billion and invested €1.8 billion in Research and Development. The company has been part of the Dow Jones Sustainability Indices (DJSI) since 2010 and has been confirmed among the global sustainability leaders in 2022. Leonardo is also included in the MIB ESG index.

Colas Rail is one of the major international players in the public transport infrastructure market, both urban and rail, covering the entire asset life cycle, from design to construction, testing & commissioning and maintenance, and providing specialist expertise in 12 areas of competence. With around 5,600 employees spread across 28 companies and subsidiaries worldwide, Colas Rail is part of the French multinational company Colas, a world leader in the transport infrastructure sector and a subsidiary of the Bouygues industrial group. In 2022, Colas Rail generated a turnover of more than €1.2 billion, 68% of which was generated outside France.