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Half-fare card rail users to get ten-franc break

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Half-fare card rail users to get ten-franc break
Photo: SBB
23:41 CET+01:00
Holders of half-fare travel cards for Swiss Federal Railways (SBB) are set to receive a modest gift in the mail.

Under a deal reached with the office of Switzerland’s price watchdog, Stefan Meierhans, SBB has agreed to send a voucher worth ten francs ($9.85) to each of the 2.4 million holders of such cards.

 The vouchers, to be mailed out in the coming days, can be used for future train ticket purchases, the watchdog said on Tuesday.

They are meant to offset hikes in ticket prices for major lines in 2014 that led to 30 million francs in extra revenues that Meihans, known as Monsieur Prix, sought compensation for for rail users.

A deal reached last year offered more reduced price “super-saver” tickets to rail users last autumn, in addition to the vouchers being sent out this week.

The vouchers, valid until the end of this year, are being financed from revenues generated on the main lines.

SBB’s half-fare travel card allows users to travel for half price on all the network’s routes and most other railways, as well as on boats, buses and trams.

The price of the card for adults is 185 francs for a year.

In other consumer developments, the price watchdog said it negotiated a drop in Swiss prices for software programmes produced by American company Adobe.

After initially setting prices significantly higher in Switzerland than in the US and other jurisdictions, Adobe agreed to drop its Swiss prices for its Creative Cloud product by around six percent and by 15 percent for its FrameMaker programme, the watchdog said.  

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