Price per-kilometre: Switzerland to trial radical new transport ticket
In a bid to cut through the confusion of transport regions, travel passes and tariff zones, Alliance SwissPass is set to trial a new back-to-basics system for train tickets in Switzerland. Instead of buying a pass from place to place, the new myRide system calculates your fare by distance travelled.
New Swiss transport ticket to use price-per-kilometre
Instead of transport prices varying by canton or transport association, the new myRide system seeks to harmonise all the regions so that travellers have one set of prices to deal with. To do this, instead of using origin, destination and time to calculate the price of a ticket, the system uses the number of kilometres travelled in each journey.
Once the pass is activated, the system will track how many kilometres people travel using the rail, bus, tram and boat network in Switzerland. This total is then calculated and sent as a bill. “We no longer pay for tickets, we pay for our mobility,” myRide programme director Andreas Fuhrer told the Tribune de Genève.
myRide pass promises discounts for regular users
As part of the pass, a dedicated app will be created with a “standard” and “smart” option. With the standard version, mileage is calculated at the end of each day and charged at a standard rate. With the smart option - which costs an extra 15 francs per month - the price per kilometre is cut by half and further bonuses and discounts are applied the more the pass is used. The total is then calculated at the end of each day or each month, depending on the user's preference.
Fuhrer argued that while the ticket will cost roughly the same as the current set of passes available for public transport, myRide is far more flexible than other offers and can therefore save passengers a lot of money. In a world of hybrid working, Furher argued that myRide offers the best deal for those without a set commuting schedule, using the example of being able to cycle to work in the summer and take the train in winter, all while benefitting from a cheaper price than an annual GA or zonal ticket.
Between 1.000 and 10.000 people will participate in the myRide pilot phase, with Alliance SwissPass looking for those who are familiar with both public transport and mobile phones. The test phase is planned for the whole of 2024, with a full rollout expected in 2027.
Critics worry about accessibility and transparency
However, the plan is not without its critics, with the Transport and Environment Association and the Swiss consumer association SKS arguing in a statement that the “price-per-kilometre” system could suffer from a lack of transparency and exclude those who are not as adept with technology. They added that the discounts included in the smart tariff could “encourage consumption” and “generate unnecessary additional traffic” at a time when passenger numbers are already at record highs.
For more information about the pass, check out the Alliance SwissPass website.
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