The government is pushing plans to introduce on a trial basis a system of taxing mobility in a bid to ease congestion on Swiss roads and crowded trains during rush hours.
The cabinet has decided to review the legal basis paving the way for pilot projects with mobility pricing. Under the system drivers would pay according to the distance they travel on main roads.
A system of different ticket prices for public transport could also be introduced.
Transport Minister Doris Leuthard said the country’s road infrastructure could not cope with peak traffic hours. Therefore, it was necessary to look for alternative options, notably to reduce rush hour mobility.
She told a news conference on Thursday that mobility pricing could gradually replace the current system of taxes on petrol and diesel or the annual fee for the use of Switzerland’s motorways. This would not happen nationwide before 2030, she added.
The transport ministry has been mandated to examine legal amendments to launch trials in cooperation with cantons and communes in different parts of the country over the next decade.
Last year, the cabinet published a report on mobility pricing. The proposal was sent to political parties, organisations and cantons for consultation.
Critics say the system could make it more costly for commuters while the possibility to work flexible hours remain limited.
There is not expected to be enough support in parliament at the moment for the necessary legal amendment to carry out the trials with mobility pricing.
swissinfo.ch and agencies