Covid: Public transport cut in Zurich region due to staff shortages

Staff shortages due to Covid-infected drivers and staff has forced public transport services in Winterthur to be cut.

A train pulls through a station at high speed
Services in the Winterthur region are set to be cut back due to staff shortages. Photo by Ertugrul Erdogan on Unsplash

Stadtbus Winterthur will adopt a reduced schedule over the coming weeks, due to staff shortages forced by Covid, Swiss news outlet 20 Minutes reports.  

Certain lines will be temporary postponed until staff numbers return to normal. 

In a press release issued Thursday, the company said there would be longer intervals between services

“Due to a temporary staff shortage, Stadtbus Winterthur is forced to slightly reduce its number. This is because there are currently not enough drivers available.”

The company said the 2E line would be the most affected by the shortage, although services would be impacted on each of lines 1, 2 and 3. 

As at Thursday evening, other transport companies in the area – including the VBZ and VZO – indicated they were running as normal and were not suffering the same issues. 

Information about how the services have been impacted is available here

Winterthur, in the canton of Zurich, is itself Switzerland’s sixth largest city but is also a popular commuter city for people working in Switzerland’s most populous city. 

MAPS: The best commuter towns when working in Zurich

Michael Poysden, a spokesman for the bus company, said while commuters could expect delays and tighter capacity, they should not change travel plans. 

“It will be a bit tighter in the bus, but we will be able to handle the capacity,” he told Swiss news outlet 20 Minutes. 

“(It’s just a) slight adjustment in the timetable.”

Poysden encouraged passengers to check the timetable using the ZVV or SBB app for up to date information on which lines were running. 

READ MORE: Eight apps to make your life in Switzerland easier

The company is hoping things will return to normal by January. 

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Swiss rail to close ticket counters in Zurich, Bern, Vaud, Ticino and Zug

Switzerland’s Federal Railways (SBB) will be removing the ticket counter from nine stations in the cantons of Zurich, Vaud, Bern, Zug and Ticino

Swiss rail to close ticket counters in Zurich, Bern, Vaud, Ticino and Zug

The SBB made the announcement on Wednesday, saying the decision was made due to a lack of demand. 

Instead, commuters will need to buy tickets from automated machines. 

In the canton of Zurich, the ticket stations in Dietlikon, Hinwil, Kloten, Männedorf and Oberwinterthur will be closed. 

In neighbouring Zug, Cham’s ticket counter will be closed, while the Herzogenbuchsee station in Bern will also go fully automated. 

MAPS: The best commuter towns when working in Zurich

In Latin Switzerland, Pully in Vaud and Biasca in Ticino will see their ticket counters closed. 

The SBB told Swiss news outlet Watson that approximately 95 percent of ticket sales are now made via self-service machines or online. 

The advent of navigation apps has meant the need for personal advice on directions and travel has fallen, particularly in smaller areas or stations with lower traffic.