According to Stefan Meierhans of Switzerland’s price watchdog Surveillant des prix, train journeys between Geneva and Lausanne, and between Bern and Zurich are too expensive when compared to prices abroad.
The price watchdog Surveillant des prix operates under a law passed in 1985, updated in 2013, and designed to keep an eye on the prices of a wide range of products and services in Switzerland including health, transport and energy.
In addition to challenging Swiss Rail over the price of these intercity trips, Stefan Meierhans, a resident of St Gallen, has announced plans to negotiate with Swiss Rail over the the price of the Swiss Rail pass known as an abonnement général or GA travel card, a pass which allows the holder to travel for free across the entire Swiss Rail network. A one-year annual GA travel card currently costs CHF 3,655 in second class or CHF 5,970 in first class. Swiss Rail’s website puts the per killometre price at 14.2 cents if you cover 25,000 km over a year (our maths gave us 14.6 cents). A round trip from Zurich to Geneva is around 550 kms so you’d need to make this journey on average once a week to reach 25,000 km across a year. According to a TCS calculations a typical car costs 65 cents per kilometre.
If these prices are out of reach then a half price card, which halves ticket prices, is a good option. These cost CHF 165 for one year.
Stefan Meierhans also pointed out that Swiss Rail has added substantially to their services adding that “efficiency is in my view a priority now and something that must impact on prices.”