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Swiss Rail shares bumper profits with passengers

© Erix2005 |

In 2018, Swiss Rail made a profit of CHF 568 million, 42.5% more than in 2017. Part of the rise was due to higher than average spending on maintenance in 2017.

It is worth noting that Swiss Rail receives a large sum from taxpayers every year. In 2018, the company received CHF 3.5 billion of public funding, CHF 2.7 billion of it booked as income. Without this large lump of taxpayer help Swiss Rail would have made a loss of CHF 2.2 billion in 2018.

One way the company, which is wholly state owned, has decided to give back some of its profits is via discounted tickets.

In 2018, travelers benefited from CHF 80 million worth of ticket discounts. A total of five million discounted tickets were sold across the year – these figures do not include standard reductions for half price pass holders.

In 2019, travelers will be offered CHF 100 million of discounts with some tickets discounted by 70%.

In addition, half price pass holders will get a CHF 15 discount on renewal and a CHF 20 upgrade voucher, those with point-to-point travelcards will get a CHF 100 voucher and those with GA travel cards will no longer need to pay filing fees.

On a less positive note, in 2018, track maintenance affected punctuality, particularly in Ticino and French-Speaking Switzerland. Across the whole country timeliness dropped slightly from 90.2% to 90.1%. Punctuality varies enormously from line to line. A technology professional in Bern created a website showing delay hotspots – see article below.

The company also shed staff in 2018. The number of people working for Swiss Rail dropped 445 from 32,754 to 32,309 over the year as the company reigned in costs.

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