Romans are having their say at the ballot box on their breakdown-prone, strike-plagued mass transit agency.

They are voting in a referendum Sunday on whether the ATAC agency should be privatized in a bid to deliver better service.

In recent years, several buses have caught fire or many buses didn’t make scheduled runs because of breakdowns. Cash-strapped ATAC is often late on paying suppliers for spare parts. Subway cars are frequently overcrowded.

People arrive to vote at a referendum on whether Roman ATAC transport agency should be privatized in a bid to deliver better service, in Rome Sunday, Oct. 11, 2018. Romans are having their say at the ballot box on their breakdown-prone, strike-plagued mass transit agency. (Giuseppe Lami/ANSA via AP)
People arrive to vote at a referendum on whether Roman ATAC transport agency should be privatized in a bid to deliver better service, in Rome Sunday, Oct. 11, 2018. Romans are having their say at the ballot box on their breakdown-prone, strike-plagued mass transit agency. (Giuseppe Lami/ANSA via AP)

Drivers often strike to protest rule changes, such as more efficient schedules.

Ridership has decreased as many prefer motorbikes or bicycles to ATAC’s vehicles.

Polling clerks check documents during a referendum on whether Roman ATAC transport agency should be privatized in a bid to deliver better service, in Rome Sunday, Oct. 11, 2018. Romans are having their say at the ballot box on their breakdown-prone, strike-plagued mass transit agency. (Giuseppe Lami/ANSA via AP)
Polling clerks check documents during a referendum on whether Roman ATAC transport agency should be privatized in a bid to deliver better service, in Rome Sunday, Oct. 11, 2018. Romans are having their say at the ballot box on their breakdown-prone, strike-plagued mass transit agency. (Giuseppe Lami/ANSA via AP)

Decades of mismanagement and corruption scandals have also taken their toll on ATAC.

Whatever the referendum’s outcome, the result is non-binding. The city may decide to keep ATAC as a completely publicly-held company.

Source: The Associated Press

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