- SBB has drawn up a new strategy for the period up to 2030.
- In the first stage until 2025, the focus is on the robustness of the rail system and financial stability, as the company announced to the media in Bern.
- In general, the focus of the new strategy is on the customers and the core of the railway philosophy “punctual, reliable, safe”.
SBB wants to become more flexible and efficient. Growth should take place in a targeted and intelligent way where the SBB is already strong. But the situation was challenging, it was emphasized. Because of the Covid 19 pandemic, the company ran a record deficit of 617 million francs in 2020. In the first half of 2021, the loss was just under 390 million francs, which increased SBB’s debts.
The influence of the corona crisis
At the same time, the pandemic showed the need for more flexibility. This makes travel behavior less predictable for SBB. According to the latest federal forecasts, mobility will continue to increase, thanks in part to climate-friendly travel.
The corona crisis has shown corresponding trends and changed forms of work, according to SBB. SBB will have to react to home offices. In addition, the pressure of the corona virus on finances continues. That forces the SBB to further increase efficiency.
Closer to customers – and more convenient
On the one hand, SBB’s new strategy is based on continuity. On the other hand, SBB wanted to be financially stable and better anticipate customer needs by 2030. SBB boss Vincent Ducrot said the first thing the company had to do was to ensure the robustness of the rail system and sustainable financing. This first stage should be completed by 2025. The offer is gradually becoming more flexible. The proven cycle timetable remains the basis. That makes the railway more attractive compared to motorized individual transport.
On the basis of the regular timetable, rail travel should become easier, more convenient and more attractive in 2030. Punctuality is good, but “volatile”, said SBB boss Ducrot. The 150 construction sites contributed to this in the current year. The aim here is to ensure that the routes are more navigable. In addition, additional rolling stock is to be used. SBB wants to master this first stage by 2025. The rail boss attaches great importance to better customer information in the event of disruptions.
Railway should become more attractive
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In order to make the train more attractive compared to motorized individual transport in addition to the tried and tested timetable, SBB wants to adapt the timetable in favor of leisure traffic on the weekends. This is intended to create direct connections between the agglomerations and the respective tourism and sports destinations, as Ducrot announced.
There are also adjustments to the rolling stock in order to take into account the changed leisure time behavior, including with the bike. The SBB are generally aiming for a connection between the first and last mile, for which there should be more parking spaces for cars and bicycles at the stations.
According to Ducrot, the railways are also relying on a new tariff system. There are tariffs based on kilometers and tariffs in transport associations. The industry organization Alliance Swiss Pass is currently working on proposals. These should be available by the end of 2022.
SBB wants to achieve better efficiency by digitizing its core business – maintenance should become more efficient. According to Ducrot, SBB will build a new plant in Ticino for this purpose. Deutsche Bahn also wants to be climate neutral by 2030.
Adapt the timetable to leisure traffic
Monika Ribar, President of the SBB Board of Directors, also said that the timing for the new strategy was just right. The train must leave the crisis mode. In the record year 2019, with a passenger growth of six percent, it became clear that the climate issue became more important for the choice of means of transport. In this way, SBB could gain in the modal split.