On Monday, the Federal Council responded favourably to the idea of offering GA travel passes to Ukrainian refugees, reported the newspaper Le Matin.
The GA pass is an annual ticket that offers unlimited travel on trains, boats, buses and trams. A second class GA pass normally costs CHF 3,860 for an adult and CHF 1,645 for a child.
The idea put to the Federal Council is to offer a GA “solidarity” pass to Ukrainian refugees for public transport in Switzerland. The suggestion was put forward by parliamentarian Florence Brenzikofen (Greens) from Basel who thinks refugees need some way to make trips related to administration and language courses among other things.
The organisation Swiss Pass, which manages public transport passes, had already opened the way for Ukrainians fleeing the war to travel for free on Swiss public transport from 1 March 2022.
However, there is confusion around the implementation of this system. One Ukrainian refugee reported that Swiss Rail staff would not allow them to travel for free. There have also been reports of people trying to buy tickets with Ukrainian currency at Swiss train stations. In response to these reports Swiss Rail confirmed that Ukrainian passport holders can take public transport for free to cross the country to or to reach their destination, but that free travel did not extend to tourism.