SBB to offer highly flexible public transport pass: What you need to know
To encourage more people to use the network, Swiss Federal Railways (SBB) will be offering a new public transport ticket in& 2023. The “Credit TP” subscription will give travellers greater access to the Swiss public transport network, without having to pay thousands of francs for an all-access Generalabonnement(GA).
New Swiss transport ticket to be launched in 2023
According to 20 minuten, SBB has been hit hard by COVID and the rise of remote working. Passenger numbers were down by 15,1 percent in the first half of 2022 compared to the same period in 2019, despite the end of most COVID restrictions. The number of GAs in circulation has also fallen from 499.530 at the end of 2019 to 406.371 at the end of 2021.
In a statement, Alliance SwissPass - the organisation responsible for public transport passes in Switzerland - said that a new subscription is needed to encourage travellers back to the rail, bus and tram network.
New Swiss transport pass to bridge the gap between halbtax and GA
Instead of an extremely cheap ticket like the nine-euro scheme in Germany, Alliance SwissPass is set to launch “Credit TP” in 2023. The new subscription is designed for occasional travellers, commuters who work part-time at the office and holiday traffic, according to 20 minuten. In the words of the Alliance, the new subscription should benefit those that use their half-fare travel card (halbtax-abo) a lot, but wouldn’t benefit from paying 3.860 francs a year for a second-class GA.
Essentially, the new Credit TP subscription works in a similar way to the Oyster Card in London - you're able to top up your SwissPass account with money, and using the cash stored in the account is "cheaper" than buying tickets directly.
Credit TP to use a credit system to pay for tickets
For example, a customer will be able to buy a certain amount of TP credits, which they can add to their SwissPass account. 20 minuten explained that 3.000 TP credits will cost around 2.000 Swiss francs, but the credits will be the same value as Swiss francs when buying tickets from SBB or any other transport provider.
Travellers will then be able to use the credits to buy tickets, including those bought using a half-fare card. If their total credit is not exhausted by the end of the year, the customer is refunded the difference.
More special transport tickets being planned in Switzerland
According to 20 minuten, Alliance SwissPass are already in discussions about adding more special tickets to the network, most notably a GA pass which is valid for three days a week - designed to be flexible around hybrid working and remote jobs. The Alliance will announce which other passes will be offered when the timetable for 2023 is released.