Saturday , October 1 2022

SBB thinks of compensation for travelers


Passengers should be compensated for gross delays and train cancellations. Photo: KEYSTONE

"In serious cases the full price": SBB think of compensation for travelers

Federal Railways plans to cancel the price in case of cancellation – not entirely voluntary.


They are the biggest problem for travelers: delayed trains. Excitement from SBB is just as much a part of Switzerland as yodelling or meatloafing. Tradition continued to live in the autumn when overtaking tracks and train cancellations accrued above average. Particularly in the social media, the passengers of a neglected train gave their anger to freedom. And this despite the fact that federal railways, according to their own speeches, are "the most accurate railways in Europe".

Andreas Meyer Photo: KEYSTONE

In an interview with CH Media's editorial, SBB CEO Andreas Meyer said the deterioration in accuracy is due to a number of smaller and greater reasons. This also includes the lack of ordered Bombardier trains as the rolling stock is scarce. Meanwhile, according to Meyer, SBB has never done so much on the rail network as it did last year. Additionally, extensions have come.

Also compensate GA owners

But the figures are clear: if the three-minute accuracy in long-distance traffic in 877 is 87.4% in 2017, it has fallen to 86% in the past year. This may still be the highest grade in the European comparison – the dissatisfaction with the waiting of the platform remains in everyday life

This disappointment can be limited by adequate compensation. Today, however, SBB customers receive only a coffee bonus for one hour or more. "Sometimes I'm almost ashamed," Meyer says. For long-distance traffic there is a railroad line for only 10 (2nd class) and 15 francs (1st class). That is why they work to ensure that delayed passengers will receive more than one small voucher as a compensation.

"From some delay, about 50% could be restored, in serious cases, even the full price," the head of SBB said. So Meyer goes further than other public transport representatives who want to recover more than half of the ticket price, as industry experts know.

And how does the company want to make sure that the owners of General Abonnements (GA) and other subscriptions are compensated? "Digitization will help us with this, such as the smartphone application," says Meyer. "This will make it possible to reliably determine who was driving the train." The bottom line is that SBB will strictly adhere to data protection provisions so as not to endanger customer confidence.

New building in Basel SBB:

Pressure from the Federal Palace

Why is SBB now dealing with this topic? Meyer emphasizes that someone is pursuing these plans regardless of politics. In fact, Parliament has been discussing fair compensation for the cost of tickets for years. Last fall, the two chambers agreed on a new passport in the Passenger Transport Act: compensation must become mandatory. If the train is late or fails fully, the railway companies must pay compensation in the future. It is still unclear when and under what circumstances passengers will receive such. Parliament leaves details to the Federal Council – contrary to its wishes, it does not want to commit to precise legislation.

Simonetta Sommourage Photo: KEYSTONE

The Federal Transportation Service (FOT) is currently working on a regulation in which details are regulated. Passengers still have to be patient until they can benefit from the new regime: the goal is for the regulation to be put to public consultation this year and then to take effect in mid-2022, a BAV spokesman explains on demand. Since January, the responsible traffic department has been headed by SP SP Simonetta Sommaruga. As a former president for consumer protection, it will offer fair regulation for rail passengers, observers are convinced. The issue is, for example, whether compensation for subscriptions should be paid.

It is clear: there is money only in case of long delays or cancellation of the train. Originally, the Federal Council proposed a regulation that is very similar to that of the European Union. Thus, for delays of more than one hour, passengers will be reimbursed 25 percent of the ticket price, with a delay of more than two hours at least half. According to this proposal, the compensation paid to transport companies will amount to half a million francs per year, the Federal Council estimates. The relatively modest sum shows one thing above all: sensational delays are rare in this country.

Return of money in case of delay

Cars on the train in Wester:

Dodgers in SBB and Co:

SBB App Retiree Course:

Video: SRF / SDA SRF

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