Dogged by buses afire, Roman commuters get new metro station

Romans, plagued by buses bursting into flames, have a new metro station.

The subway stop was inaugurated on Saturday near Piazza San Giovanni, extending the C line from eastern, working-class neighborhoods to the edge of the capital's historic heart.

The opening, while years behind schedule, was welcome news to Rome's commuters. Earlier in the week, a bus self-combusted on its route, the latest of about a dozen aging buses to suffer that fate this year.

The new station exhibits ancient Roman artifacts discovered during the tunnel's excavation.

The layers of Roman life from some two millenniums ago that lay under the city make expanding the subway system slow, delicate work. That's one reason Rome's central Piazza Venezia area has no station.

The city's public buses frequently break down and are late and overcrowded.