BLS explains its position
Rail system reform, modal shift, infrastructure financing, regional transport: as the largest integrated railway company in Switzerland after SBB, BLS has a special responsibility to help shape transport policy in Switzerland. We accept this responsibility and therefore seek to maintain a dialogue with public authorities and political decision-makers.
Position on current policy topics
- 1,2 MB Consultation on the Network Utilisation Plan 2018 Statement by BLS Ltd – 19/9/2016
- 147 KB Organisation of Railway Infrastructure - Consultation Statement by BLS Ltd – 2/11/2015
- 65 KB Hearing on Track Access Price Revision 2017 - Change to the Rail Network Access Ordinance (RailNAO) Statement by BLS Ltd – 30/3/2015
- 35 KB Hearing on Ordinance Amendments within the Framework of FABI (Funding and Expansion of Railway Infrastructure) Statement by BLS Ltd – 23/3/2015
- 719 KB Funding for Rail Freight Transport Statement regarding the consultation on the overall concept for funding rail freight transport throughout Switzerland (fulfilment of Motion 10.3881) – 9/7/2013
- 111 KB 4m Corridor on the Gotthard Axis Statement by BLS Ltd regarding the bill for construction and financing of a 4m corridor for rail freight transport on the Gotthard axis – 27/11/2012
- 130 KB Rail System Reform 2.2. Statement by BLS on the ordinance amendments associated with Rail System Reform 2.2. / Passenger transport: Hearing – 19/11/2012
- 500 KB Federal Office of Transport Directive on "Line Closures" Statement by BLS regarding the Federal Office of Transport Directive on "Line Closures pursuant to Art. 11b of the Rail Network Access Ordinance (RailNAO)" – 8/10/2012
- 100 KB Road Use Approvals and Road Traffic Criminal Law Statement on the consultation process relating to road use approvals and road traffic criminal law; amendment to the Passenger Transport Act and other enactments – 27/9/2012
- 27 KB Consultation Proposal for Fan Trains Statement by BLS regarding the consultation proposal for fan trains; amendment to the Passenger Transport Act – 13/9/2012
- 49 KB Emergency Services Deployment on Railway Installations Statement by BLS regarding the new ordinance from the Federal Department of the Environment, Transport, Energy and Communications (DETEC) on the deployment of and contingency costs associated with deployment on railway installations - Hearing – 12/9/2012
- 272 KB Funding for Rail Freight Transport Statement by BLS regarding informal pre-consultations on the overall concept for funding rail freight transport throughout Switzerland (fulfilment of Motion 10.3881) – 7/9/2012
- 83 KB Federal Act on Railway Noise Abatement Measures Statement by BLS regarding the consultation on amending the Federal Act on Railway Noise Abatement Measures – 30/8/2012
- 67 KB Implementation of Rail System Reform 2.2 Pre-consultation on the implementation of Rail System Reform 2.2; amendments to the Swiss Railways Ordinance (RailNAO) and the Rail Network Access Ordinance (RailNAO) – 14/6/2012
- 30 KB Train Path Allocations and Bidding Procedures Statement by BLS Ltd regarding train path allocations and bidding procedures; Federal Office of Transport Directive – Consultation – 30/5/2012
- 20 KB Transport of Dangerous Goods Statement by BLS Ltd regarding changes to the Ordinance on the Carriage of Dangerous Goods by Road, or by Rail and Cableway – 13/3/2012
- 1,4 MB Partial Revision of the Rail Network Access Ordinance (RailNAO) Statement by BLS Ltd regarding the hearing concerning the partial revision of the RailNAO (new track access price system – 6/6/2011)
- 85 KB Railway Infrastructure Statement by BLS Ltd regarding the consultation on the funding and expansion of railway infrastructure – 11/5/2011
- 1 MB Service Agreement 2011-12 Private Railway Companies Statement by BLS Ltd regarding the hearing concerning the draft proposal for the service agreement 2011-12 Private railway companies – 23/11/2010
- 502 KB Revision of the Rail Network Access Ordinance Statement by BLS Ltd regarding the hearing concerning the revision of the Rail Network Access Ordinance (RailNAO) – 23/11/2010
- 270 KB Safety Bodies for Transport Companies Statement by BLS Ltd regarding the hearing concerning the safety bodies for public transport companies (SBPTO) – 8/11/2010
- 58 KB New Track Access Price System Statement by BLS Ltd regarding the proposal for a new track access price system - Pre-consultation 2010 – 12/5/2010
- 41 KB Funding for the Swiss Statement regarding the hearing concerning the dispatch on funding for the Swiss railway infrastructure and the SBB service agreement for the period 2011-12 – 12/5/2010
- 77 KB Rail System Reform 2 Statement by BLS Ltd regarding the consultation on the second stage of Rail System Reform 2 – 15/10/2009
- 111 KB Rail System Reform Partial Package Statement by BLS Ltd regarding the hearing concerning the ordinances on the first Rail System Reform partial package (RöVE) – 26/6/2009
- 54 KB Rail Network Access Ordinance Statement by BLS Ltd regarding the hearing concerning the partial revision of the Rail Network Access Ordinance (RailNAO) and the associated implementation regulations – 12/6/2009
- 45KB Freight Transport Specifications Statement by BLS Ltd regarding the hearing concerning the ordinances related to freight transport specifications – 28/5/2009
- 1 MB ASCOOP Pension Fund Statement regarding the restructuring of the SBB pension fund and the pension plans insured by the ASCOOP pension fund – 22/10/2008
The future of Direct Transport (Direkter Verkehr) Position paper
The Direkter Verkehr (Direct Transport – DV) system plays a key role in the success of the overall public transport system in Switzerland. DV makes it possible for passengers to travel in most public transport networks with just one ticket.
At the same time, such a simple and efficient system requires complex coordination between the approximately 250 participating transport companies with regard to prices and ticket categories, tickets sales and the distribution of costs and revenue.
BLS is committed to further developing this system in line with future requirements and the following objectives:
- Keeping things simple for customers.
- Ensuring fair and transparent cooperation.
- Implementing modifications on the basis of a holistic approach
Cornerstone of the Swiss public transport system
Direct Transport (DV) ensures that passengers only need to use one ticket to travel in most of the public transport networks in Switzerland, regardless of the mode of transport used or the company that operates the transport network in question. In other words, DV creates a nationwide fare network that covers the routes operated by most of the public transport companies in Switzerland. The GA travelcard and Half-Fare travelcard are two of the most well-known DV products.
The DV system is governed by Article 16f of the Swiss Passenger Transport Act. This article stipulates that transport companies establish appropriate organisational structures for DV and cooperate with one another to manage and maintain the system. The DV system coordinates the distribution of income generated with flat-rate tickets. It also manages fares and coordinates and standardises transport ticket sales. The system's highest-level supervisory body is the "Strategischer Ausschuss Direkter Verkehr StAD" (Strategic Committee for Direct Transport), which is made up of the CEOs of the most important public transport companies, as well as the director of the Swiss Association of Public Transport.
A total of 18 regional fare networks exist alongside the DV system in Switzerland. The coordination of fares and ticket categories between these networks and the DV system poses a huge challenge for the public transport system in Switzerland.
Development of regional rail passenger transport Position paper
Regional rail passenger transport is a major success story in Switzerland: demand continues to rise unabated, high-quality passenger transport services are being continually further developed and improved, and the transport companies have become much more efficient over the last few years.
However, the ability to finance the measures necessitated by continually growing market demands in the long term presents a major challenge. This challenge cannot be met simply by repeatedly searching for new sources of financing. It's also important to design the control and incentive systems for authorities that order transport services, the companies that provide them and the passengers who use them in a manner that ensures that the regional passenger transport system can be further developed and efficiently operated at optimal capacity over the long term.
BLS is therefore committed to the further development of the current procedure for ordering regional transport services. In order to ensure optimal management of the system, financial planning security needs to be improved, transport companies need to be supported in their efforts to increase their entrepreneurial responsibility and users need to bear an appropriate share of the costs.
BLS is calling for a reform of the current regional passenger transport system in line with the following objectives:
- Securing binding long-term financing
- Ensuring more extensive process control by the Federal Government
- Creating entrepreneurial incentives for transport companies
- Increasing the level of user financing
Potential financial imbalance in the regional passenger transport system
- Stagnating government payments (pressure to cut costs in the public sector)
- Limited scope for fare adjustments (political acceptance / Price Supervisor)
- Investment in rolling stock
- Increasing requirements (in terms of quality and safety)
- Rising track access prices (2017)
- Financing requirement for pension fund (value fluctuation reserve)