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SBB announces price cuts after increasing profit

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SBB announces price cuts after increasing profit
Photo: SBB
12:15 CET+01:00
The Swiss federal railway company, SBB, made a healthy profit last year and plans to reduce the price of individual tickets from May amid rising customer dissatisfaction.

In results posted on Tuesday, the national rail operator reported a profit of 399 million francs in 2017, up five percent on the year before, news agencies reported.

At its annual news conference, SBB said tickets – mainly off-peak – that are currently sold at prices as low as half the standard price would be up to 70 percent cheaper from May 1st.

In addition, holders of an annual GA/AG season ticket would receive a booklet of vouchers entitling them to reductions.

In other changes, local tariffs will apply for calls to the Rail Service telephone line rather than a per-minute rate.

With the announced changes the SBB is giving back 50 million francs to passengers, it said.

Both customer satisfaction level and the public perception of the company deteriorated last year, the rail operator said.

It also reported improved punctuality, with 89 percent of trains on time – the highest level in six years.

But while trains ran to time more in eastern Switzerland and the Zurich region, they were less punctual in western Switzerland as a result of rail works and station expansion.

The railway operator's freight arm, Swiss Cargo, fell back into the red after breaking even last year.

Read also: SBB fights new low-cost bus lines with saver fares

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