New proposal to bring cheap monthly public transport tickets to Switzerland
After the huge popularity of the 9-euro ticket scheme for long-distance travel in Germany, politicians in Switzerland want to bring the plan to the alpine nation. The aim, like in the federal republic, would be to temporarily reduce the cost of public transport to compensate for higher living costs.
Plans for cheap public transport tickets in Switzerland
National Councillor Matthias Aebischer said that a reduction in the cost of public transport tickets should be used to counteract the heightened fuel prices for drivers in Switzerland. He argued that a 9-euro-style ticket should be implemented to coax people out of cars and onto trains, buses and trams.
"I think the idea of the 9-euro ticket is great - it could be a day ticket used during the summer in Switzerland," he noted. In order to pay for the scheme, he said that rail operators would receive additional funding from the government and would benefit from the extra revenue driven by higher passenger numbers. Aebischer is due to submit his proposal to the Federal Council next week.
Swiss rail and bus operators not on board with cheaper fares
“We want a sustainable solution - the 9-euro ticket is certainly not [this]," noted Ueli Stückelberger, Director of the Association of Public Transport. The Swiss Transport Club is also not in favour, with Managing Director Andreas Gautschi questioning how the scheme would be implemented, who should be able to apply for reduced fares and how the ticket would impact GA, halbtax and route season ticket holders.
This stance was echoed by Alliance SwissPass, the industry body for Swiss public transport, which said in a statement that a “9-euro ticket in Switzerland” was highly unrealistic and would cause delays and disruption through overwhelming passenger numbers. As Swiss rail and bus operators already face declining profits due to a slow recovery in passenger numbers following the pandemic, making travel cheaper does not make sense to them.