Swiss rail ticket prices to rise for the first time in 7 years
For the first time in seven years, the cost of public transport tickets in Switzerland is set to rise, Alliance SwissPass has confirmed. The umbrella organisation blamed higher salaries and excessive maintenance, energy and inflation-related costs for the increase. Here’s what we know so far:
Rail ticket prices to rise in Switzerland in 2023
In a statement reported across the Swiss media, Alliance SwissPass, the organisation that controls tickets and public transport passes in Switzerland, announced that the average price of rail, bus, tram and boat tickets will rise for the first time since 2016. It follows a previous warning by the organisation which predicted that Swiss Federal Railways’ losses last year would make price rises inevitable.
From December 10, 2023, the cost of tickets across all transport networks will increase by 4,3 percent on average. The cost of “normal tariff” items - single, point to point and 24-hour passes - will increase by 4,2 percent on average, with the cost of first and second-class tickets increasing by 1,9 and 4,8 percent respectively.
Alliance SwissPass explained that the increased cost of single tickets will be used to cushion price rises in their subscription offers. For example, the cost of half-fare travel cards (Halbtax-abo) will increase by just five francs a year, while the price of a GA travel card will increase by 5,7 percent for adults (around 220 francs a year).
Swiss transport firms say price rises are unavoidable
In the statement, Alliance SwissPass said that price rises were “unavoidable”, arguing that transport firms have increased the number of services on offer by 10 percent since the last time prices rose in 2016. At the same time, data from the Federal Statistical Office found that running costs for Swiss railways have risen by 4,5 percent between 2016 and the end of 2022, with the Swiss government predicting costs to rise by a further 2,4 percent this year.
Specifically, the cost of workers, maintenance, energy, and fuel has risen significantly at a time when firms have been forced to deal with a coronavirus-related drop in passenger numbers. Amid this backdrop, and with expected government budget cuts set to reduce transport investment by 7,8 percent in real terms by 2024, Alliance SwissPass argued that a price increase for customers is necessary.
“The public transport industry continues to take the position that public transport in Switzerland must remain affordable for everyone and that price increases - if they are unavoidable - must be as moderate as possible,” the organisation added. Along with the new public transport passes announced for young people, they confirmed that they would be expanding their range of “saver tickets” in the coming months.
Thumb image: Shutterstock.com / Julia Kuznetsova