Switzerland to scrap stamp rail tickets and orange stamping machines

Switzerland to scrap stamp rail tickets and orange stamping machines

Alliance SwissPass, the organisation in control of public transport tickets in Switzerland, has announced that it will be phasing out stamp tickets and orange ticket validation machines from the end of 2025. Transport providers have argued that maintaining the system would be an unnecessary expense, while charities and other associations have raised accessibility concerns.

Stamp tickets of all types to be scrapped in Switzerland

In a statement given to the consumer magazine K-Tipp, Alliance SwissPass confirmed that it would no longer require transport companies to provide a multi-trip or stamp-based card for transport from 2025. These include all types of stamp cards that can be validated at Switzerland's iconic orange ticket validation machines, from single stamp tickets to ones that can be used up to six times before they expire.

By the end of 2025, the validation boxes themselves will start to be removed. Some transport associations, especially in western Switzerland, had already started to phase out certain types of stamp tickets, but the latest announcement means the change will be accelerated and extended nationwide.

It's not worth saving Swiss stamp tickets, transport providers argue

Alliance SwissPass justified the move by arguing that many of the ticket validation machines are in dire need of renovation. This forced the association’s hand, with the alliance arguing that the boxes would cost more to repair than they would earn.

According to their data, 6,3 million stamp tickets were sold in Switzerland in 2023. While the association admitted that the card is “still popular with customers”, the figure is a drop in the ocean compared to the popularity of other tickets. What's more, “The use of mobile and digital channels for purchasing tickets is continuously increasing,” noted Alliance SwissPass spokesperson Reto Hügli.

Scrapping stamp tickets in Switzerland raises accessibility issues

However, K-Tipp noted that many families will mourn the passing of the stamp card, as the ticket allows parents to give their child a pass to get to school or to meet up with friends, without having to provide them with physical money, a bank card or a mobile phone. Writing in a statement given to 20 Minuten, the Association of Single Mothers and Fathers said that the plans ignore the reality that many children lack the self-discipline to buy things on their phones.

In a statement, charity and aid organisation Caritas added that the measures would significantly impact those who cannot afford a smartphone or don't have the credit to apply for a bank card. Pro Senectute, an advocacy and service group for the elderly, said that transport providers are making it much harder for older people to buy tickets without the use of technology.

A replacement for stamp cards is in the works, Alliance SwissPass confirms

In response, Alliance SwissPass told 20 Minuten that it was working on a successor to the stamp ticket. “When developing these solutions, the needs of the various stakeholder groups – such as children travelling alone and people without smartphones – will be taken into account.” However, what this new ticket will look like is yet to be revealed.

Thumb image credit: Sorbis /

Jan de Boer


Jan de Boer

Editor for Switzerland at IamExpat Media. Jan studied History at the University of York and Broadcast Journalism at the University of Sheffield. Though born in York, Jan has lived most...

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