Cheaper public transport to be given to disadvantaged people in Zurich

Cheaper public transport to be given to disadvantaged people in Zurich

By a margin of 65 votes to 46, the city council of Zurich has approved a plan to make public transport cheaper for those that need it the most. The vote is the first to succeed in a string of efforts to make public transport tickets more affordable.

Vote to allow those on social security to get cheap transport tickets

The vote now ensures that those on emergency benefits and welfare, as well as those who are on low salaries or are socially disadvantaged, will be able to receive significantly cheaper fares for travel in Zurich. Simone Brander, a newly elected city councillor, said that “the current prices make environmentally friendly public transport unaffordable for some."

Those who benefit from the change will be determined by the “Kultur-Legi pass" - a personal pass that grants discounts of up to 70 percent at 3.600 different institutions in Switzerland for those who are disadvantaged. Discounted tickets may also be determined by the system that calculates subsidies for childcare in Switzerland

Mobility one of the greatest hurdles for disadvantaged people

“If you want to participate in society, you have to be mobile," said city councillor Raphael Golta. He noted that for the most underprivileged in society, mobility costs are a big problem. 

The idea is the third attempt by the Social Democratic Party of Switzerland to reduce the cost of transportation. The most notable attempt was last summer, when the council rejected a plan to make public transport free in Zurich and other cities - although the vote is still going ahead in Canton Vaud.

Strong opposition to extended subsidies on Zurich public transport

In response, many opponents in the council argued that there was already enough help available through social security. City councillor Sebastian Zopfi said, “Anyone who cannot afford public transport should buy a bicycle. It's cheaper."

There is also concern from politicians that the new system would see people paid twice for public transport. Mélissa Dufournet, city councillor for FDP. The Liberals, noted that social assistance already covers the basic cost of travel and that "with the new perk, double payments would be made to the same people."

Jan de Boer


Jan de Boer

Jan studied in York and Sheffield in the UK, obtaining a master's in broadcast journalism and a bachelor's in history. He has worked as a radio DJ, TV presenter, and...

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