Switzerland considers expanding public transport to include taxis

Switzerland considers expanding public transport to include taxis
Photo: TOBIAS SCHWARZ / AFP
To reduce reliance on private cars, authorities in Switzerland are considering expanding public transport to include taxi options.

In Switzerland, only one in five journeys are made by public transport – with private car usage picking up most of the remainder of the slack. 

Ueli Stückelberger, the director of the Swiss Association for Public Transport, told the NZZ am Sonntag that including taxis in the country’s public transport options would allow them to reach their ambitious targets. 

The Association plans on increasing public transport usage by one percent per year until 2040 – where they hope that two out of every five journeys in the country will be made by public transport. 

Stückelberger, who says the target is “ambitious but quite realistic”, says taxis would allow for passengers to take safer and more direct trips – particularly on weekends where there are fewer options. 

“This could save 20 or so minutes (from these journeys), which makes the connections more attractive”. 

While taxis are already prevalent across Switzerland – along with app-based ride-sharing programs – including them into public transport systems would lower costs and allow them to be broadly implemented in journey plans. 

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Although a greater use of taxis may lead to increases in greenhouse gases – something Stückelberger says authorities are trying to avoid – the plans are likely to result in increased usage of public transport options overall, with taxis’ main role being to link existing transport networks with each other. 

The prevalence of smaller villages and towns as well as the country’s unique geography make it difficult to service some areas with public transport options. 

More trains when the weather is good

Stückelberger said Swiss authorities were also considering implementing a dynamic timetable system, which allows more trains and buses to be put on to leisure sites on days when the weather is good. 

With more and more passengers and commuters reliant on digital timetables to organise their travel plans, public transport authorities have greater scope to implement new services at shorter notice. 

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