Swiss federal railways (SBB) transported more passengers than ever in 2016 and nearly 90 percent of them arrived on time, its best score in five years, the company said on Tuesday.
Some 1.25 million passengers used its services every day, up 3.5 percent on the previous year, SBB said in a press release
And the company has more regular customers than ever before, with 472,000 holding the GA/AG railpass and 2.4 million using a half-fare card, both now available on the Swiss Pass system that was introduced in 2015.
According to the company 88.8 percent of all passengers arrived on time, one percent higher than in 2015 and the highest value in five years.
“SBB remains Europe’s most punctual railway company in the world’s most intensively used mixed transport network,” it said.
The Gotthard Base Tunnel, which started scheduled services in December, has improved punctuality on the north-south axis but there is still work to do, added the company.
Passenger satisfaction surpassed the company’s target of 75 percent, it said. Customers were more satisfied than before with cleanliness and available space, but more critical of the price-performance ration.
“This shows that SBB needs to continue to work towards ensuring at least stable prices,” said the operator.
Earnings from passenger traffic rose to 139 million francs, up from 131 million francs. While domestic revenues were up, revenues dropped in international passenger services “due to a drop in demand to Paris as a result of the security situation,” said SBB.
Mobile sales exceeded counter sales for the first time, with 18 million tickets bought on the mobile app that was upgraded last year, a huge 45 percent rise on 2015. That compared with 16 million bought over the counter, down 19 percent.
“Personally operated sales will, however, maintain a strong presence for a long time to come,” stressed SBB.
The company also generated significant earnings from real estate sales, while its cargo operation returned to the black after 2015’s -22 million franc deficit.
Last year SBB announced it would slash 1,400 jobs as part of its RailFit20/30 programme to cut 1.20 billion from its costs by 2020.
However the number of full-time positions rose marginally in 2016, it said.