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Switzerland's first carpool lane opens in bid to fight traffic

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Switzerland's first carpool lane opens in bid to fight traffic
Fabrice COFFRINI / AFP
12:23 CEST+02:00
Switzerland’s first carpool lane, and the first international carpool lane in Europe, has been opened along the Thônex-Vallard border crossing near Geneva.

In an effort to fight traffic and congestion, only cars with at least two passengers will be allowed to use the new lane that runs along the Thônex-Vallard border crossing into France. 

For the next year, the carpool lane will be tested as an experiment. It will be open heading into Geneva between 6-9AM and then in the other direction between 4-7PM.

The pilot project is a joint initiative by the Geneva Department of Infrastructure and the Mont Blanc Autoroutes and Tunnel (ATMB), who say it could cut travel time by as much as 33%.

Above: The new initiative runs along the Thônex-Vallard border crossing between France and Switzerland. 

Authorities say that the Thônex-Vallard border currently sees up to 22,000 vehicles cross on particularly busy days and 17,000 vehicles on normal days. This regularly creates congestion and delays. 

READ MORE: Geneva and Zurich among world's worst for traffic: report

The lane runs for 550 metres on the French side of the border and 450 metres on the Swiss side. 

Drivers who are caught using the lane without a second passenger on the French side of the border will be fined 22 Euros. Currently, the same infraction will not incur a penalty in Switzerland. 

The carpool lane was opened on Monday 8th October and will be tested until September 2019. 

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