Transport in Switzerland – Beyond Cars

Switzerland just released a major study on transport habits of its people. Often considered latecomers, Swiss may be frontrunners in the field of transport. Cars may still be the most used means of transportation but that may be changing. Nowadays only 58% of the 18 to 25 years old have a valid driving license, 20% less than 15 years ago. Instead 20% of the same cohort have a card allowing them to take any train and bus in the whole country. In just five years time, the very dense train system transported 25% more people. Another interesting fact is that cars travel 38km/h on average, while trains go much faster at 61km/h. Indeed, city traveling is now much faster by train than by car. 67% of Swiss support that money generated by gas taxes is invested in public transportation.

ON-green-policy! Switzerland is an interesting case, because all options are on the table. Public transportation and roads are excellent and Swiss can generally afford to choose their favourite means of transportation. These figures are thus trustworthy indicators of changing preferences. I think Switzerland is close to pass an important threshold of service quality. With 2-4 very comfortable and fast train per hour between all major cities and excellent links to agglomerations and even villages, the public transportation system is now considered to be a real alternative to cars for all aspects of transportation needs. From now on, political pressure on further improving the quality and frequency of public transport will likely increase, prompting even more people to use it. On the other hand investments in more road traffic will face more opposition from people who are not dependent on them.

Source: Swiss Federal Administration (in German)

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