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Swiss Federal Railways ‘Green Class’ pass aims to wean Swiss off cars

A passenger train passing over an underpass in Zurich

Road to rail: a passenger train passing over an underpass in Zurich


The Swiss Federal Railways has launched a travel package that combines different sustainable modes of transport, for example the use of e-bikes, e-cars and car-sharing. 

The pass, known as SBB Green Class (SBB is the German abbreviation for the federal railways), now makes it possible to “part from your own car step by step”, as the website explainsexternal link

“With SBB Green Class, complete mobility can be obtained as a service, meaning that you don’t need to buy a vehicle. The Premium and Comfort combined mobility solutions not only include use of public transport and an e-car, but use of a parking space at the station and the 2,950 or so Mobility cars at over 400 stations too.” 

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All this does not come cheap, however. The total cost depends on whether you opt for Premium or Comfort and how long you sign up for (the longer, the cheaper). 

A 12-month pass in Premium, for which you get first-class unlimited travelexternal link on all Swiss public transport and various other perksexternal link, will set you back CHF1,310 ($1,360) a month. A Comfort pass, which involves unlimited second-class travel, will cost CHF910 a month if you commit to three years. 

Despite these prices, the federal railways said customers in a year-long trial were overwhelmingly satisfied with the programme, with 70% wanting to extend their subscription for another year. 

The railways said that during the Green Class trial, the average test participant reduced the amount of carbon dioxide they produced by 1.5 tonnes a year – the equivalent of 20% of their total emissions connected to mobility.


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