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Old July 28th, 2013, 02:24 PM   #1281
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Originally Posted by Sunfuns View Post
Zurich is a borderline case (wasn't there a metro project in the past?)
There was; the remnants include the subterranean part of now tram lines 7 ad 9 after Milchbuck, however it was subject to a referendum and Zurich people -IMO rightfully- voted against the metro project and keep the trams instead.

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Originally Posted by Suburbanist View Post
You won't get a 80-min Geneve-Zürich train unless you build HSR
The thing is, there aren't THAT many passengers travelling between Geneva-Lausanne-Fribourg and Bern-Zurich to justify such a mega project, not considering the fact that the train competes against other means of transportation, basically the car, and so it just needs to be faster than those cars and/or slightly slower but globally (considering the price of buying a car, the insurance, maintenance, the oil) cheaper by allowing fast connections everywhere and therefore to avoid having the need to own a car for "rare" trips or to get to the train station, it therefore doesn't need to be as fast as theoretically and technically possible.
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Old July 28th, 2013, 03:32 PM   #1282
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You won't get a 80-min Geneve-Zürich train unless you build HSR. Simple as that. No matter how much schedule and operation management you thrown it.
So what?
There's no large need for an 80 min Geneve-Zürich train, not large enough to justify the investment. What is more urgently needed is four-tracking the entire Geneve - Lausanne railway.

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At some point speed of trains is the bottleneck in the way of faster passenger travel time.
And at some point the return on investment is no longer there...

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This is a problem the Swiss face also in local transportation: Zürich, Bern and Basel lack some serious subway system, relying instead on slow trams that are mixed with traffic running at-grade. No matter how much signal priority you give them, you just can't accelerate a train to 90km/h in the middle of a street the way you can speed up a subway in a tunnel... as a reasult, trips in Zürich, Bern, Basel take a long time to complete.
Bern is a town of 100000. I live there, and I walk everywhere. To small for a subway some say. But actually it does (sort of) have one: The RBS. One of the most successful urban railways. Zürich has it's S-Bahn with is an astronomical success.

If public transport was so slow, why then is it so popular? In Bern 80% of the population has a public transport pass. In Zürich downtown even bank managers take the tram. The system is not as slow as you think. In fact, public transport in Zürich is slightly faster than the car. Zürich is a good example of how you can get a reasonably fast, efficient and userfriendly public transportation system using trams.
That having a subway does not necessarily lead to fast inner city travel is amply proven by London...

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Old July 28th, 2013, 03:34 PM   #1283
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I wouldn't advise spending massive amounts of money on a new Zurich-Geneva line either, but when you say that there aren't that many passengers you have to remember that part of the reason is that it takes a long time to travel from one place to another. If suddenly it was possible to do it in 90 min there would be a considerably bigger traffic than now.
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Old July 28th, 2013, 03:47 PM   #1284
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I wouldn't advise spending massive amounts of money on a new Zurich-Geneva line either, but when you say that there aren't that many passengers you have to remember that part of the reason is that it takes a long time to travel from one place to another. If suddenly it was possible to do it in 90 min there would be a considerably bigger traffic than now.
Another part of the reason however is that Zürich and Geneva are two separate worlds. And a 90 min travel time between them won't change that.
And do we really need to encourage traffic?
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Old July 28th, 2013, 04:16 PM   #1285
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I wouldn't advise spending massive amounts of money on a new Zurich-Geneva line either, but when you say that there aren't that many passengers you have to remember that part of the reason is that it takes a long time to travel from one place to another. If suddenly it was possible to do it in 90 min there would be a considerably bigger traffic than now.
I'm not really sure. Business travellers like me already take the train to go to Zurich from Geneva when we need to, my company of course tries not to send me there since it's a considerable long trip, if it were shorter maybe they'd send me more often but I still don't see the positive point in that since I very much doubt they'll save money, take in mind that as K_ says we're two worlds, so our formation courses are done in french in this side and german on the other so we can't really mix that much. When I really need to go I do anyways.

For tourists... I'd surely go more often to Zurich to visit my friends if the trip was shorter, only if the price of the ticket didn't jump, and I very much that wouldn't happen since lately the CFF has found it's fashionable to force passengers to contribute financially to rail improvements.

All in all, I think the current situation is very acceptable and improvements should be done on regional basis, e.g. Geneva-Lausanne.
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Old July 28th, 2013, 04:18 PM   #1286
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Another part of the reason however is that Zürich and Geneva are two separate worlds. And a 90 min travel time between them won't change that.
And do we really need to encourage traffic?
And that's part of the reason why it isn't even discussed seriously. SBB is already a bit of a victim of it's own success. Too many long distance commuters...

Still no system is ever complete and there are some spots where further public transport improvements would be beneficial. Some are being addressed by ongoing projects, another one I mentioned in my earlier post. Basel in particular could use better local connections with it's suburbs in France. Many people from there commute for work to Basel and surrounding areas and are forced to drive contributing to huge traffic jams because there is no bus at all or the last one leaves at 7 pm. Also S1 ought to run through Basel from Frick to Mulhouse. It used to, but then many years ago Swiss and French couldn't divide something between themselves... An new tram extension is being built to Weil am Rhein (DE), the same should happen to St Louis (there is a plan...)

As for encouraging traffic in general it would be interesting to see some numbers regarding Basel-Paris route. In the last 15 years the travel time has been reduced from 6 hours to 3 hours. I don't know how it was in the past, but now those trains are very popular. Could probably fill few more every day.
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Old July 28th, 2013, 04:36 PM   #1287
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Basel in particular could use better local connections with it's suburbs in France. Many people from there commute for work to Basel and surrounding areas and are forced to drive contributing to huge traffic jams because there is no bus at all or the last one leaves at 7 pm. Also S1 ought to run through Basel from Frick to Mulhouse. It used to, but then many years ago Swiss and French couldn't divide something between themselves... An new tram extension is being built to Weil am Rhein (DE), the same should happen to St Louis (there is a plan...)
The problem in Basel is that attitudes to Public transit are similar in Germany and Switzerland, so co-operation with Germany goes well. France is different however. The Swiss see public transit as something that should be able to replace a car, allow one to live without a car. Thus public transit runs frequently till late.
In France public transit is still to often seen as something for those unfortunate enough to have a car. So it doesn't need to be frequent, or be user friendly. One reason for the problems running S1 cross border is that it's not easy to get the French to co-operate on an integrated schedule, although this has improved now. And RFI doesn't like to hurry when it comes to facilitating non-french rolling stock to run on its network. If SBB had bought its trains with Alstom they would now be running through to Mulhouse every half hour...
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Old July 28th, 2013, 05:34 PM   #1288
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By speaking about "railways in Switzerland" most of you think about long distance railways, Zürich-Chiasso, Basel-Zürich, etc. However, in Switzerland, just like in many other countries (including Germany, the UK, France, etc.) a majority of train passengers are commuters that do not travel from Zürich to Geneva but from a town near Zürich to the city center and then back home, and do it 5 times a week.
In my opinion if we speak about the quality of a train system, the aspect of local trains is more important than long distance ones. And in this kind of trains Switzerland has a very decent network.
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Old July 29th, 2013, 03:22 AM   #1289
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By speaking about "railways in Switzerland" most of you think about long distance railways, Zürich-Chiasso, Basel-Zürich, etc. However, in Switzerland, just like in many other countries (including Germany, the UK, France, etc.) a majority of train passengers are commuters that do not travel from Zürich to Geneva but from a town near Zürich to the city center and then back home, and do it 5 times a week.
In my opinion if we speak about the quality of a train system, the aspect of local trains is more important than long distance ones. And in this kind of trains Switzerland has a very decent network.
If you want households to abjure car ownership you need more than just decent inner-urban public transport but fast intercity services as well. But as numbers show car ownership in Switzerland is on level with its neighbouring countries. It seems the Swiss still need their cars though despite its glorified public transport.
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Old July 29th, 2013, 05:09 AM   #1290
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Another part of the reason however is that Zürich and Geneva are two separate worlds. And a 90 min travel time between them won't change that.
And do we really need to encourage traffic?
Yes. More travel = more commerce, more integration, larger catchment area for business, universities, institutions, housing offers etc.

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If you want households to abjure car ownership you need more than just decent inner-urban public transport but fast intercity services as well. But as numbers show car ownership in Switzerland is on level with its neighbouring countries. It seems the Swiss still need their cars though despite its glorified public transport.
Car ownership is not intrinsically related to car use. They are separate animals of the same genre, to speak of. For instance, the difference in car ownership between EU-15 and USA is much smaller than the difference in km-passenger per capita.

Switzerland is a rich country, they can afford to buy cars, even if they are not going to be intensively used as per commuting as they'd be in Italy.
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Old July 29th, 2013, 08:38 AM   #1291
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If you want households to abjure car ownership you need more than just decent inner-urban public transport but fast intercity services as well. But as numbers show car ownership in Switzerland is on level with its neighbouring countries. It seems the Swiss still need their cars though despite its glorified public transport.
I commute only with bus or bicycle (depending on the weather). I still have a car, sometimes I need to transport something. Or I go to holidays. Or I need to do a business trip where I need the car.

Being able to commute without a car gives me the chance to reduce my car usage to around 50 days a year.
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Old July 29th, 2013, 08:46 AM   #1292
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If you want households to abjure car ownership you need more than just decent inner-urban public transport but fast intercity services as well. But as numbers show car ownership in Switzerland is on level with its neighbouring countries. It seems the Swiss still need their cars though despite its glorified public transport.
Switzerland is a rich country. So car ownership is high (with many owning several cars, as you can have two, or sometimes even more cars on the same registration), but also with very high public transit usage. That shows that even people that own cars use public transit.
In Bern for example 80% of the population has a public transit pass. In Zürich far more people commute to work using public transit than by car.
So you can not pretend as if the Swiss aren't doing something right when it comes to public transit.
What I see is that car usage is stagnating, or even declining slightly. And this has to do with a phenomenon that has already gotten a name: "The public transit generation". In urban areas young people are increasingly no longer bothering with getting a driving license. Public transport allows teenagers to achieve quite a degree of independence from their parents, long before they turn 18, and they grow up used to public transit and it's advantages. Once your mental map is patterned on the public transit network getting a driving licence and a car becomes less urgent. In urban areas only about half of the 18-30 yo have a driving licence. A third of the households (and often quite wealthy ones at that) in Bern does not have a car.
The result is that public transit usage is growing faster then car usage, and that while it is already very high by European standards.
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Old July 29th, 2013, 08:47 AM   #1293
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I commute only with bus or bicycle (depending on the weather). I still have a car, sometimes I need to transport something. Or I go to holidays. Or I need to do a business trip where I need the car.

Being able to commute without a car gives me the chance to reduce my car usage to around 50 days a year.
I still had a car when I moved to Switzerland. After it had been gathering dust in its parking spot for sometimes weeks on end I got rid of it, and took a subscription with mobility in stead. That covers the rare occasions where I need a car perfectly.
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Old July 29th, 2013, 08:51 AM   #1294
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Yes. More travel = more commerce, more integration, larger catchment area for business, universities, institutions, housing offers etc.
But more travel means also more related costs. Do the benefits exceed the costs?
And do businesses, universities, institutions really need a bigger catchment area? It is more efficient to have a separate university in Lausanne then to make it possible for students from Lausanne to commute to Zürich...

And the point remains that money is limited. Switzerland already invests a lot of money in its railways. The money should go to projects with the highest benefit first. And there for example increasing capacity on Olten - Zürich and Lausanne - Geneve has a higher priority.
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Old July 29th, 2013, 11:55 AM   #1295
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If you want households to abjure car ownership you need more than just decent inner-urban public transport but fast intercity services as well. But as numbers show car ownership in Switzerland is on level with its neighbouring countries. It seems the Swiss still need their cars though despite its glorified public transport.
Rail transport in Switzerland has a modal split of approx. 15% which is the highest value in Europe.
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Old July 29th, 2013, 12:00 PM   #1296
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Note that this modal split is much higher in urban areas, especially in and around Zürich, Bern and Basel.
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Old July 29th, 2013, 12:05 PM   #1297
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Rail transport in Switzerland has a modal split of approx. 15% which is the highest value in Europe.
The total market share of public transport (in pkm) was 23,7 % in 2012, for the whole country. Rail is 17%.
In Urban areas however it looks different. There public transit actually dominates.
Zürich is a nice example of "a rich city is one where the rich use public transit, not one where the poor use cars...".
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Old July 29th, 2013, 12:49 PM   #1298
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What you are saying is basically what is planned
And that makes me sad. The OV Chipkaart works well for intra-city public transport, but was a clusterf^W^Wbroken for years, and even now the solutions for trains are ridiculously annoying and bogged in technicalities (most people with trajectory subscriptions end up buying paper tickets outside of the trajectory anyway, for example), and the "passenger only zones" are pipe dreams, only realized on smallest stations. Oh, and try having two different RFID cards in your wallet, that's fun. It's only good because you can bond with Dutch people by complaining about how bad it is.

I loved the current Swiss ticket system. It's not hi-tech, but it's *actually* efficient, and being hi-tech is actually a cost, not the benefit itself.
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Old July 29th, 2013, 01:17 PM   #1299
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And that makes me sad. The OV Chipkaart works well for intra-city public transport, but was a clusterf^W^Wbroken for years, and even now the solutions for trains are ridiculously annoying and bogged in technicalities (most people with trajectory subscriptions end up buying paper tickets outside of the trajectory anyway, for example), and the "passenger only zones" are pipe dreams, only realized on smallest stations. Oh, and try having two different RFID cards in your wallet, that's fun. It's only good because you can bond with Dutch people by complaining about how bad it is.

I loved the current Swiss ticket system. It's not hi-tech, but it's *actually* efficient, and being hi-tech is actually a cost, not the benefit itself.
The Swiss might be the first ones to actually get this right... The plan as it currently stands is for the chip card to offer new functionality, but to exist besides the current tariff system for a long time.
The idea is to have a system where all you need is to have the card on you. No need to check in or out. The presence of the card on your body would be sufficient.
It would allow for products that fill the gap between a GA and single tickets, a gap that really needs to be filled.
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Old July 29th, 2013, 02:52 PM   #1300
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The total market share of public transport (in pkm) was 23,7 % in 2012, for the whole country. Rail is 17%.
What you cite here is a modal split based on kilometrage rather than based on the number of trips as Attus' number was. That is a totally different calculation. One mustn't confuse this.
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