Government wants to double use of public transport by 2050

The Swiss still make almost 80% of their journeys by private car or motorbike © Keystone / Gaetan Bally

The Swiss government plans to make drivers ditch their cars and take public transport, doubling the market share of trains and buses by 2050, according to the NZZ am SonntagExternal link.

This content was published on June 6, 2021 - 14:07

This would mean that the Swiss would cover over 40% of all passenger kilometres by train or bus, compared with 21% today. The same doubling target applies to freight transport, said the paper, which based its report on new documents from the Federal Office of Transport.  

The driving force behind these efforts is the government’s climate target. It wants Switzerland to stop emitting greenhouse gases by 2050.

However, even the government’s experts admit that this target is “very ambitious”, the NZZ am Sonntag wrote. “A look back shows why: despite all the expansion, the share of public transport has been stagnating for years, and the Swiss still make almost 80% of their journeys by private car or motorbike.”

Extra money

Meanwhile, the 2035 expansion plan for the railways is proving to be more expensive than planned.

According to the latest planning, the 200 projects approved by parliament would require CHF14.1 billion ($15.7 billion). This is CHF1.2 billion more than planned. Most of the additional costs are due to the Zimmerberg Tunnel II between Zurich and Zug, which will increase capacity and reduce journey times by six minutes.

The Federal Office of Transport is now considering redimensioning as a worst-case scenario, according to the NZZ am Sonntag.

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