The Swiss Times - Swiss News in English

Public transport association director in favor of more ticket tolerance – but only on trains

The Director of the Association of Public Transport (VöV) is in favor of more tolerance for ticket purchases shortly after departure - but only on trains. "Introducing a tolerance of two minutes for streetcars and buses in cities makes no sense [...]", says Ueli Stückelberger.

In such a case, checks could be stopped altogether because even more people would then not buy a ticket. "On trains, on the other hand, we might need a higher tolerance. Such graduated rules are currently being discussed," Stückelberger said in an interview with CH Media published on Friday.

In December, the Federal Office of Transport (FOT) criticized SBB's practice of not accepting tickets purchased on departure as incompatible with the Passenger Transport Act. Stückelberger has no sympathy for the FOT's approach: "I don't understand why the FOT is criticizing so loudly. They could have sought a discussion with the industry. Moreover, zero tolerance is not stupid per se, but simply necessary depending on the means of transport."

Criticism of Rösti's statement

Stückelberger is also critical of Transport Minister Albert Rösti. At the end of January, he said in an interview with Tamedia that a highway expansion was necessary because public transport could no longer be expanded at the moment. "No new freeways are needed now because public transport supposedly can't be expanded and has no more capacity," Stückelberger now said. "There is no such connection."

Of course, it is not possible to build everywhere on the railways at the same time. But: "There is a big difference between building a new tunnel next to the track, which hardly affects the existing rail traffic, and extending or converting lines or stations while they are in operation," says Stückelberger.

The Director of Vöv was relaxed about the possible liberalization of international passenger transport as part of an EU framework agreement. "For us, it is crucial that we safeguard Switzerland's achievements in public transport: the timetable, train path distribution and SBB's proven cooperation with foreign partners for international trains," said Stückelberger. "If these achievements, which are of great benefit to customers, are included in the text of the agreement with the EU, we will accept them."

©Keystone/SDA

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