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Public transport industry compensates subscription customers with 100 million francs
The effects of the COVID-19 pandemic are having a huge impact on public transport. In consultation with the Federal Office of Transport (FOT), the public transport sector is doing everything in its power to ensure basic public transport services in Switzerland. The Swiss public transport thus supports the federal strategy. The reduction in supply and the drastic measures with the request to only use public transport for important purposes have led to a massive drop in demand of around 80 percent compared to normal operations. The public transport companies lose revenue of around CHF 500 million every month. At the same time, subscribers who cannot use their ticket during the pandemic for various reasons understandably make demands on the transport companies and public transport networks.
15 days additional goodwill for annual subscriptions
GA customers can deposit their subscription free of charge for 30 days. During the “Extraordinary Situation”, this is also possible online and retrospectively from March 17, 2020. The other annual subscriptions (especially group subscriptions) contain several free months compared to the purchase of individual monthly subscriptions. Despite the difficult financial situation for the companies, the public transport sector has decided to grant holders of general, network, route and module annual subscriptions an additional 15 days of goodwill. While the grace days with the GA are offset against the invoice amount when the subscription is renewed, network, route and module annual subscriptions are extended by 15 days.
Customers with a monthly network, route or module subscription are also compensated. Depending on the network and product, you will receive either 15 francs or 15 percent of the subscription price. The half-fare card is not reimbursed as it is usually amortized after a short time and a few trips. The seven25 and the excursion subscription are also not reimbursed.
Pragmatic solution for customers
By ensuring basic services, public transport in Switzerland is making an important contribution to coping with the COVID-19 pandemic. However, due to the slump in demand, this service is associated with high costs. At the same time, the public transport sector is aware that the public sector and the population are heavily burdened by the COVID-19 pandemic. The industry has therefore opted for a pragmatic compensation solution with a sense of proportion. It is just about affordable and manageable for the companies involved, given the current financial possibilities. With these goodwill measures, the transport companies and public transport associations support and compensate customers in the amount of over 100 million francs - without public funds.
All affected customers will be informed promptly by the public transport sector. Going to the counter or calling the contact center is not necessary and should therefore be avoided. The decision of the Strategy Council of the Alliance SwissPass still has to be formally ratified by the transport companies and public transport associations involved.
In order to benefit from the compensation, the following conditions must be met:
- General season tickets: The GA travelcard must be valid from March 17th, 2020 until the end of the “Extraordinary Situation”.
- Association, route and module subscriptions Year: A valid subscription must be available on the last day of the “Extraordinary Situation”.
- Association, route and module subscriptions for the month and monthly half-fare card: On March 17, 2020, a subscription that was valid on that day had to be available.
The time of the end of the “extraordinary situation” in public transport will be defined in due course.
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