More passengers travel on Swiss trains
Swiss Federal Railways has recorded a 7.5 per cent increase in passengers since the introduction of a new timetable six months ago.
The vast majority of trains are on time and the problem of overcrowding has been at least partially solved, the Federal Railways announced at a news conference on Thursday.
Before the timetable change on December 12 last year the growth in passengers using the train network was 2-4 per cent.
Since then the expanded service – 12 per cent more trains and 14 per cent more kilometres travelled – has led to a marked increase in passengers.
The number of passengers on inter-city services has risen by 7.5 per cent overall, with 12 per cent more people travelling on the Bern to Zurich route.
In the first five months of this year the Federal Railways exceeded its target for at least 95 per cent of trains to be no more than five minutes late.
In April punctuality reached a level of 96.99 per cent.
A chief indicator of service quality is the number of cancellations. In January Swiss Federal Railways reported 800 cancelled services (0.3 per cent of the total number of trains).
Since then the figure has significantly improved: in May the number had halved to around 400.
The general level of customer satisfaction in the first quarter of this year was high, the Federal Railways said. This went for commuters as well as leisure travellers.
But customers were less satisfied when it came to train seating or information on delays and service interruptions.
Swiss Federal Railways says that the issue of occasionally overcrowded trains has improved in places: solutions were found in 24 out of 36 long-distance cases and in 20 out of 35 regional cases.
For the first time Swiss Federal Railways is offering compensation for serious delays.
If an intercity train is delayed by an hour or more, travellers will receive a Rail Check voucher of between SFr10 and SFr15 ($8-12) by way of apology. The Rail Check can be used to pay for future journeys.
swissinfo with agencies
The Swiss Federal Railways’ timetable change six months ago has resulted in an unusually large increase in passenger numbers.
Although the distance travelled by trains has increased by 14%, there is a high level of punctuality.
Train cancellations fell from 0.3% to 0.15%.
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