Zurich : City News

Last update : June 2003

More staff members in commuter trains at night

ZVV, the public transport authority of the Zurich region, and the Swiss federal railways CFF adopted last December a new "Security-Package" for night travellers on commuter trains in the Zurich canton. The main measure is the presence of two accompanying staff members on all trains after 9pm. The tasks of these "train-chiefs" encompass the control of tickets, the provision of information and a reassuring presence. This new human presence will enable to reduce the number of policemen controlling in night trains, and to limit their function to interventions in case of incidents. The recruitment and training of these new train-chiefs will be accomplished in July 2004. The total cost for this new service is estimated at € 10m. Further measures include the generalisation of a "meeting wagon" where passengers do not feel alone, improved cleanliness of rolling stock, increased fight againts vandalism and fraud, and video-monitoring inside rolling stock. (added June 2003)

New night network and high level of passenger satisfaction

ZVV, the regional public transport authority of the Canton of Zurich (1,2 million inhabitants),inaugurated on 15 December 2002 a new night network of public transport services. This network consists in 4 railway lines (S-Bahn) and 32 bus routes serving 80% of the municipalities of the canton of Zurich on Friday and Saturday nights. Passengers using night services need to buy a supplementary ticket sold at the price of 5 CHF (&euro 3,40).

One month after the start of operations, 25,000 passengers had already been carried, that is to say three times more than the number of people who used the previous night bus services. The majority of passengers are young people.

ZVV carries out every 2 years a survey of the satisfaction of passengers with the public transport networks. The results for 2002 showed an increase in levels of satisfaction, the average grade reaching 74 out of 100, vs 73 in the previous survey (2000). Items like reliability, information, price and management of complaints have seen strong improvements. The setting up of an information centre for passengers (ZVV Contact) shall help to better listen to the problems encountered by passengers and bring answers to them. (added April 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 (€ 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.

Communication on integrated public transport services awarded a prize in 2001

The Swiss Association of Environment and Transport, which brings together 137,000 members, awarded last November their annual prize of innovation in public transport to the Zürcher Verkehrsverbund (ZVV), the public transport authority of the Canton of Zurich. This prize rewarded the campaign of communication launched by ZVV so as to create a single commercial brand for the integrated public transport network of the Zurich Canton. This new brand, called ZVV itself, is promoted by ZVV as a label which guarantees a high level of quality of service. In addition to this, the campaign was also awarded 12 other prizes. The motto of the communication campaign devised by ZVV reads "I am also (follows the name of a transport mode different from that on which the poster is set)… a single ticket for all". This campaign has been very profitable for ZVV since it cost only &euro 0.68m in 2001 and, at the same time, the revenues from tickets sales grew by &euro13.68m. The number of integrated ZVV season passes sold also rose by 10,000 in 2001. Even though this increase is not solely due to the good communication, this campaign has no doubt played a role.

For ZVV, a good image of public transport depends both on good communication campaigns carried out by the transport authority, and of course, on the quality of transport services provided by operating companies. (added March 2002)

" S-Bahn Vision " in Zurich

Railway traffic increased strongly in the 1990’s in the Canton of Zurich (+30% for all services and +100% on the line to the airport). In this context, the Canton authorities asked ZVV, Zurich public transport authority, to devise a new concept of S-Bahn (regional railways) services. The resulting "S-Bahn Vision", whose motto is "direct and fast", was devised by ZVV in co-operation with the Swiss National Railways SBB so as to attract at least 25% more customers. This will be achieved thanks to : - faster lines connecting communities in the canton of Zurich with the centres - higher frequencies with 15 minute intervals for services connecting large communities and communities close to the city of Zurich - direct services between the main housing and job areas This will need doubling of some tracks as well as extensions of the network on the corridor Zurich-Winterthur. The most urgent of these works will be completed by 2006. The new Zurich station, which shall open in 2012, will allow the next steps to achieve the goals of the S-Bahn-Vision. (added June 2001)

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