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More money demanded for public transport

Environmentalists are calling on the government to divert substantial revenues from a Swiss fuel tax to improve the public transport network.

The Swiss Transport and Environment Association said on Thursday that public transport projects already in planning stages would cost SFr14 billion ($13.42 billion) by 2030.

The association says most of the money could come from Switzerland’s fuel tax, if the revenues from the tax were split evenly between public transport and road infrastructure.

Currently, half of the proceeds – more than SFr5 billion in 2007 – pay for general federal expenses while the other half is spent on road works.

“The rapid rise in the price of petrol reveals how much our mobility depends on oil, which is a limited resource,” the association’s president, Franziska Teuscher, said at a news conference in Bern.

The association also wants to see an article included in the constitution stating a preference for public transport.

Along with other environmental groups, it is expected to launch a campaign in support of public transport in the coming months to force a nationwide vote on the issue.

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