Geneva : City News

Last update : November 2005

Works begin for the international link Geneva - Annemasse

The surroundings of Geneva where 910.000 people live and work are straddling two countries: Switzerland and France. This situation makes transport issues complex for public authorities in charge of it. Transport demand is expected to grow significantly by 2020, due to the forecast increase of the population, expected to reach 1.100.000 at this moment.
The cross border rail based project linking Cornavin Airport, the centre of Geneva (Eaux-Vives) and the French city of Annemasse has been expected for about a century and is about to become reality. Works began last September and the infrastructure will be in service by 2010 - 2012.
The project consists in drilling a 4.8 kilometre-tunnel, linking existing rail lines that will be upgraded. In France, 2 more kilometres will be created from the border to Annemasse. The travel time between the Airport and Eaux-Vives will be 9 minutes and 17 minutes from the Airport to Annemasse.
The Swiss part of the project will cost CHF 900 million ( &euro 600 million) and will be funded 42% by Geneva Canton and 58% by the federal level and the Federal Railways (CFF). The project is managed by an ad-hoc structure, bringing together the Canton, CFF, the Confederation, working with local developers, municipalities and also with cross border institutions such as "Léman Council" and the French "Région Rhône Alpes". (added November 2005)

Geneva will increase by 20% the provision of public transport services by 2006

The government of the Canton of Geneva approved the masterplan of public transport networks for the period 2003-2006. Motorised trips are expected to rise by 20% until 2020, threatening the city of major congestion. In this context, public transport authorities have decided to increase by 65% the provision of public transport services so as to foster modal transfer towards public transport, and to improve the quality of services provided. A first intermediary target is to increase by 20% the provision of public transport services by 2006.
Concerning the quality of services, the commercial speed shall be above 18 km/h for bus transport and 30 km/h for transport systems with dedicated lanes.

Railway connections

- International connections: the TGV to France is planned to joint Geneva with Lyon, Le Chablais and l’Arve Valley.
- Regional network: a new interchange station next to the Dorcière Station will be constructed.
- Light Rail: the most important project is the construction of a light railway between France and Geneva (TCSP). It will connect Pays de Gex - Geneva - Annemasse, using the existing infrastructures between Annemasse and the Eaux-Vives station and the tramway network by Cornavin.

Tramway extensions

Meyrin - Bouchet - Cornavin - Bel Air - Rive - Moillesulaz: the extension from Cornavin to CERN with a first stage of completion at Bouchet and subsequently at Meyrin, should be completed at the earliest in December 2006 and 2007.

Public transport and car sharing synergies in Geneva

The public transport operating company in Geneva has found an innovative solution for a better use of its fleet: off peak hours, light vehicles are made available to customers of Mobility, a car sharing company independent from public transport operators, offering 24h services in the whole country. Fares agreements has been proposed in order to develop synergies between use of public transport and car sharing. Even if vehicles characteristics do not exactly fit with Mobility requirements, mixed usage will provide a larger fleet for car sharing users and allow a more flexible fleet for public transport.
Geneva also purchased five buses with a double articulation also called "Megabus". They are offering an extra 35% capacity of 150 passengers (vs.110 for articulated buses). This vehicle has 5 double doors and is 24.8 meters long. (added December 2004).

Night bus services integrated in Geneva’s public transport network

The night bus network of Geneva was inaugurated in 1995. Its 12 routes, which serve Geneva and 61 municipalities (among them 3 municipalities in nearby France), have encountered a real success, with more than 1,000 passengers every week-end.

The authorities of the canton of Geneva aim to turn this service, which was devised specifically for young people going out on Friday and Saturday nights, into an element of the mobility chain catering for the needs of all categories of passengers at night. This shall be achieved through fare integration with the regular public transport network (passengers with season passes will have access for free, whereas they have to pay &euro 2,00 at the present time) and through widespread information about the service. Half of the cost of operation of the night bus network (&euro 500,000) is paid by public authorities. (added June 2003)

RailLink: a new co-operation between public transport and car sharing in Switzerland

Swiss Federal Railways (CFF) have joined forces with the car maker DaimlerChrysler and Mobility, the leader of Swiss Car Sharing organisations, so as set up a special automobile rental service called RailLink.

RailLink, which was launched in October 2001, consists in providing passengers of the Swiss Railways with the possibility to rent a Smart car easily and at a cheap price at their destination.

A fleet of some 100 Smart automobiles are available at 42 major stations in Switzerland. To have access to this new service, one needs to have a valid rail season pass and to buy a RailLink card for &euro 75.6 a year. The rental costs of the vehicles include a charge based on the number of hours (&euro 1.8 per hour) and a charge based on the distance (&euro 0.34 per km).

The vehicles can be reserved up to one hour in advance, by telephone or the internet, and the service is available 24 hours a day. (added March 2002)

Geneva wins the first European Prize of urban mobility (April 1999)

The Department of justice and police of transport, of which depends the OTC, is proud to announce that Geneva has won the first European Prize of Urban Mobility. This prize was awarded to Geneva at the occasion of Mobicity, the first International Fair on Urban Mobility, which took place in Paris in April 1999. 8 cities had been selected on the basis of their transport policies and the quality of their achievements: Amsterdam, Barcelona, Birmingham, Frankfurt, Geneva, Lille, Paris and Turin. The final choice was made by a committee of independent transport specialists (journalists, industrialists, local public authorities, etc.).

This decision is an encouragement for Geneva to carry on with its policy aimed at developing mobility through increased complementarity between transport modes.

A journey observatory in Geneva

The Office des Transports et de la Circulation of the Canton of Geneva has set up a journey observatory, which aims at improving the planning process and at helping decision makers in their technical and financial choices. The observatory is made up of six main areas : - socio-economics: GDP, price index, energy costs - town and country planning: population, employment, public amenities - demand for transport / mobility: number of journeys per person, average journey length, type of journeys - supply of transport (networks and services): location of networks, capacity, frequency, parking facilities - traffic: modal split, volumes, commercial speeds, parking turnover rate - impacts of transport: pollution, financial cost, security, economic development The journey observatory will enable to : - gather and update a set of basic data, in particular to meet public information and consultation requirements - find out whether standard solutions developed locally, both technically and in terms of organisation, can be applied widely - compare various projects in the same metropolitan area or in different areas. Thus large infrastructure projects or technological developments will be evaluated on the basis of homogeneous criteria that allow for comparisons within a single mode of transport or between different modes or combination of modes . (added December 2000)

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