Switzerland- SBB ready to welcome more bicycles

Switzerland- SBB ready to welcome more bicycles
Switzerland- SBB ready to welcome more bicycles

PostedOctober 27, 2021, 4:50 PM

More than 400 additional spaces for bicycles will be created on the main lines. At the same time, the company has extended the obligation to book on Intercity lines.

More people are getting their bikes on the train.

TDG – Lucien Fortunati

Compared to 2019, 17% more cyclists took the trains to Ticino in 2021, CFF explained on Wednesday. To cope with this “unprecedented” boom, they have created up to three times more bicycle spaces on the most important lines and extended the reservation obligation from Friday to Sunday to all lines Intercity (IC). This last measure aims to cope with the large crowds.

This year, SBB sold 7% more bicycle day passes and 6% more bicycle passports than in the previous year. Sunday July 18 was “a record day, with a total of 2,537 reservations”. Since the extension of the reservation obligation on the IC network in March, 169,000 reservations have been made.

The system has flaws

In their press release, CFF believe that despite the increase in the number of passenger cyclists, “negative reactions from customers have been less numerous”. And as long as “the demand for bike places on weekends is greater than the supply”, they will maintain “the obligation to reserve bicycles on the IC lines”. However, the “reservation system still has shortcomings” and needs “to be improved”. A new one will be in place for 2023.

SBB expects demand to continue to increase. This is why they are gradually developing their offer, in dialogue with cycling associations and representatives of the sector. However, expanding capacity for bicycles takes time. “Concretely”, specifies the company, “from 2022 to 2025, more than 400 additional spaces for bicycles will be created in mainline trains.”

Less seating

SBB is also considering the transformation of other fleets, taking into account the growing demand for bicycle spaces when purchasing new vehicles. However, as trains are also used by commuters, during the week, “more space for bicycles is also less seating during rush hour,” the press release concludes.

If they find that “the intentions of modifying the rolling stock expressed by SBB are in line with the desired improvements” and that they are delighted to see “the capacity for bicycles in trains” increasing, Pro Vélo Suisse and the Transport and Environment Association (ATE) believe that “at the same time, we urgently need to improve the reservation system, which is highly criticized and unsatisfactory”. The application for compulsory reservation made it “complicated and discouraged many customers”. For Delphine Klopfenstein Broggini, vice-president of Pro Vélo Suisse, “SBB must work harder. They introduced compulsory reservations as a matter of urgency, for lack of anticipation, without making sure that their application really meets the needs of cyclists. The technical means must now be up to the requirements of CFF. ” For example, the app does not offer the cheaper tickets for trips with a bicycle. In addition, it does not allow the cancellation of the reservation. Thus, unoccupied places remain unavailable. Finally, it is impossible to see the number of places remaining and you sometimes have to pay for the first reservations without being sure to have room for all the members of the family or group. Since the introduction of the compulsory reservation, on March 21, Pro Vélo and the ATE have received a lot of negative feedback.



Switzerland SBB ready bicycles

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