Bern would like to discourage travel at peak times. One option under consideration is charging extra for travel at peak times.
According to official figures, there were around 4.3 million commuters in Switzerland in 2014, a little over half the population. Many travelling at peak times suffer from crowded trains or traffic jams. In addition, traffic is predicted to grow by 25% by 2030.
Recently, the federal government gave a green light to plans to run pilot projects to test the effects of peak pricing on trains and roads, in an attempt to better spread travel across the day.
Several cantons such as Geneva, Zug, Bern and Ticino are open to the idea and are ready to launch pilots.
The chief of the Switzerland’s transport department said: “We cannot exclude the option of those travelling only at peak times paying more.”
Peak travel surcharges are not expected anytime soon however, and it could take 15 years for a new system to be introduced.
Nor is the GA Travelcard, a pass that allows unlimited travel for a fixed fee, about to disappear said transport office director Peter Füglistaler. Although it might evolve into a pass which has a maximum amount of free travel, with charges for trips beyond this point.
Other ideas will also be explored. Changing work hours and shop and school opening times is one possibility. Increasing the amount of work done at home or getting employers to pay peak travel surcharges are other options.