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Old February 18th, 2015, 04:11 PM   #401
gincan
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Originally Posted by ArtManDoo View Post
My opinion is that it is because there is car industry in Sweden. The car lobby by Volvo, Saab etc is the reason by my opinion why the railway is as it is in Sweden.
I'm not so sure about the car lobby, it is true that right wing governments build more motorways and left wing governments build more public transport, beyond that I don't think the car lobby has had much of an influence in Sweden.

The USA is really the only western country where the car lobby succesfully has managed to destroy the railway as a personal transport system. You have a huge car lobby i Germany yet they have the largest railway system in Europe. Spain has a huge car industry (16% of all employments) and yet they build tons of new railways. Both France and Italy are car-centric countries and they still build and invest in railway construction and modernization.
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Old February 18th, 2015, 09:33 PM   #402
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I'm not so sure about the car lobby, it is true that right wing governments build more motorways and left wing governments build more public transport, beyond that I don't think the car lobby has had much of an influence in Sweden.
Actually about 10 years ago there was a priority funding taken from a railway project to a construction of a new expressway to the city of Trollhättan where SAAB used to manufacture cars.
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Old February 18th, 2015, 11:23 PM   #403
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With the Swiss km-based tariff and no reservations* many people concentrate on peak hours/days, but these times are predictable thus SBB simply adds more trains, with prices affordable to most Swiss (which have at least an half-fare card) and still SBB covers the costs.
That's right, but we do have to take into account that there are no real long distance routes where an alternative to taking a train would be to fly. Also perhaps not everyone here knows that trains in Switzerland have a monopoly on public intercity traffic. Competition by buses is forbidden so there are only two alternatives - a train or your own car. Lot of people living in big cities don't own a car so SBB has a captive audience there.
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Old February 18th, 2015, 11:27 PM   #404
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Which in turn leads to more people taking the train, which in turn leads to better fares due to meeting profit requirements which also means that it is easier to keep a decent level of service and keep the system in good order. This is the mantra that the Japanese railways, which are private companies, have. It seems the situation in Switzerland is little different other than the state being the operator rather than private companies.

This is the problem with Swedish rail - they don't cover costs, they don't provide a good service and they do not invest properly in the system.
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Old February 19th, 2015, 07:17 AM   #405
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To give a point of comparison : Brussels-Brugge, 100 km, done in one hour, half-hourly service, with return, in second class, costs € 28,20 full fare, € 15,20 with a 50% reduction card or during the week-end.
Where an I buy such a reduction card?
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Old February 19th, 2015, 07:46 AM   #406
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No reservations and you buy your ticket just before departure?
Yes. And I keep running in to tourists who are flabbergasted that the train from Zürich Airport to Bern costs three times what it costs to fly from London to Zürich, and that you can't reduce that by buying in advance.
SBB really needs to introduce advance purchase savings fares. Otherwise we will see more tourists decide to just rent a car (or just stay away).
SBB needs yield management. And they know it.
It would eliminate absurd situations like where SBB has to buy an expensive TGV set only to run between Zürich and Basel...
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Old February 19th, 2015, 08:54 AM   #407
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Where an I buy such a reduction card?
I'm not sure it is still sold. I used to be, you could buy it from any SNCB
counter. I have one because I am the proud father of 3 children, and this
status of "large family" gives me the right to have such a card for free
(my children have it until they leave the house, my wife and me keep this
right forever). And anyone can have this 50% reduction for any return ticket
valid during the weekend. In general, belgian rail travel is quite cheap in
Belgium : it's all km-based, and the fares are the second lowest in Europe,
just after Italy ; many people get their season ticket to commute to
work for free ; and there are even cheaper tickets for seniors too.
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Old February 19th, 2015, 09:01 AM   #408
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Yes. And I keep running in to tourists who are flabbergasted that the train from Zürich Airport to Bern costs three times what it costs to fly from London to Zürich, and that you can't reduce that by buying in advance.
SBB really needs to introduce advance purchase savings fares. Otherwise we will see more tourists decide to just rent a car (or just stay away).
This is the big weakness of Swiss rail system. Ticket prices are fine for me, but when my parents come to visit and we don't want to stay in Basel only we rent a car. Way cheaper than train for three people with only me having a half fare card. Maybe something like Japan rail pass would be good.
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Old February 19th, 2015, 09:05 AM   #409
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You have a Swiss rail pass. Unless you scrapped it recently, both times I spent extended periods of time I bought a rail pass for Switzerland that covered the whole network and gave unlimited journeys...
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Old February 19th, 2015, 10:29 AM   #410
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Originally Posted by K_ View Post
Yes. And I keep running in to tourists who are flabbergasted that the train from Zürich Airport to Bern costs three times what it costs to fly from London to Zürich, and that you can't reduce that by buying in advance.
SBB really needs to introduce advance purchase savings fares. Otherwise we will see more tourists decide to just rent a car (or just stay away).
SBB needs yield management. And they know it.
It would eliminate absurd situations like where SBB has to buy an expensive TGV set only to run between Zürich and Basel...
Railways do not exist just to cater for tourists. Yield management would probably be worse for Swiss people in general so no. Don't use it. It kills good railway systems.
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Old February 19th, 2015, 01:23 PM   #411
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You have a Swiss rail pass. Unless you scrapped it recently, both times I spent extended periods of time I bought a rail pass for Switzerland that covered the whole network and gave unlimited journeys...
The Swiss Rail Pass isn't exactly cheap either...
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Old February 19th, 2015, 01:26 PM   #412
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Railways do not exist just to cater for tourists. Yield management would probably be worse for Swiss people in general so no. Don't use it. It kills good railway systems.
If yield management kills railways, why aren't they dying?

The problem all railways have is that the demand for their services is not constant. On certain times of the day demand is a lot higher then on others. On those times they could ask more, which means more revenue, which means less dependence on politics, and more money for investment.
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Old February 19th, 2015, 02:30 PM   #413
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Originally Posted by K_ View Post
If yield management kills railways, why aren't they dying?

The problem all railways have is that the demand for their services is not constant. On certain times of the day demand is a lot higher then on others. On those times they could ask more, which means more revenue, which means less dependence on politics, and more money for investment.
That's nonsense. The Swiss rail is already profitable, as is the Japanese nearly across the board except for a few third sector railways. Why break a formula that clearly works? Advocates of yield management seem to ignore this fact.

The point about "more demand therefore we can price gouge more" is just a pure profit making strategy, and isn't good from a holistic transport perspective. Captive riders resent that kind of behaviour - I mean look at the UK and their crazy pricing for commuters (hint, 7000 pounds for a ticket from Northampton and London and back per year, and that doesn't allow you on ANY other railway company). Railways are popular in the UK but the modal share is poor overall, but in Japan and Switzerland the modal share is more balanced by comparison. Therefore one has to ask which system is better from a countrywide perspective rather than just a bottom line perspective.
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Old February 19th, 2015, 11:53 PM   #414
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Originally Posted by K_ View Post
SBB really needs to introduce advance purchase savings fares. Otherwise we will see more tourists decide to just rent a car (or just stay away).
SBB needs yield management. And they know it.
That already exists?
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Old February 20th, 2015, 12:04 AM   #415
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It's not true yield management though, those are just special deals. Yield management means moving away from the fixed distance-based fare system that SBB has and implementing the madness that a few other railways (like the Swedish and UK rail systems) have.

For those who think the fares for the Swiss pass are expensive - unlimited travel in Switzerland for 15 days plus public transport in 75 cities, 50% of museum fees (480 museums), 50% discount on private mountain railways and one free child under 16 per Swiss pass for only 440 CHF. To me that is a bargain and a half - that means two adults and two children under 16 can travel for half a month for only 880CHF. A mid-sized car to cope with a family for 15 days sets you back around 520 CHF without all insurance waivers (and 1,011.62CHF after adding insurance). Personally I find the pass a good deal based on this.
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Old February 20th, 2015, 12:19 AM   #416
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Railway in Kiruna, Norrbotten County:

Untitled by Ewantu, on Flickr
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Old February 20th, 2015, 01:44 AM   #417
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For those who think the fares for the Swiss pass are expensive - unlimited travel in Switzerland for 15 days plus public transport in 75 cities, 50% of museum fees (480 museums), 50% discount on private mountain railways and one free child under 16 per Swiss pass for only 440 CHF. To me that is a bargain and a half - that means two adults and two children under 16 can travel for half a month for only 880CHF. A mid-sized car to cope with a family for 15 days sets you back around 520 CHF without all insurance waivers (and 1,011.62CHF after adding insurance). Personally I find the pass a good deal based on this.
If you are really here for 15 days and want to travel a lot it might be a good idea, but on the other hand if you say come from Sweden to visit a friend in Bern for few days then your train tickets to/from Zurich airport will cost you 110 euros which might as well be more than you paid to fly here in the first place.

Swiss train tickets without any discounts are very expensive, not sure why you are still arguing about that part...
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Old February 20th, 2015, 07:08 AM   #418
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That's nonsense. The Swiss rail is already profitable, as is the Japanese nearly across the board except for a few third sector railways. Why break a formula that clearly works? Advocates of yield management seem to ignore this fact.
The Swiss IC/IR network breaks even. If you leave network maintenance out of it. The regional network is heavily subsidised. The SBB gets a lot of money from the government.
And the IC/IR network is profitable because competing with it is not allowed. Lets see what happens once we allow private bus operators to offer long distance services...

Quote:
The point about "more demand therefore we can price gouge more" is just a pure profit making strategy, and isn't good from a holistic transport perspective.
More profit leads to more investment, and more importantly, less depency on which side the wind is currently blowing from in the capital. That are good things in my opinion.
And anyway, what is bad with profit? If you ask X for a product, and sell all of it, then this means that your product was worth at least X to begin with. The profit is just that part of the added value you produce you keep for yourself.

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Captive riders resent that kind of behaviour - I mean look at the UK and their crazy pricing for commuters (hint, 7000 pounds for a ticket from Northampton and London and back per year, and that doesn't allow you on ANY other railway company). Railways are popular in the UK but the modal share is poor overall, but in Japan and Switzerland the modal share is more balanced by comparison. Therefore one has to ask which system is better from a countrywide perspective rather than just a bottom line perspective.
The UK has it's own problems with the trains. But given that the train to London are overflowing during rush hour the problem clearly isn't that the fares are to high.
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Old February 20th, 2015, 07:09 AM   #419
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For those who think the fares for the Swiss pass are expensive - unlimited travel in Switzerland for 15 days plus public transport in 75 cities, 50% of museum fees (480 museums), 50% discount on private mountain railways and one free child under 16 per Swiss pass for only 440 CHF.
And then there are the passes sold to residents. Like the GA. This is a steal. And as a result trains are overflowing during rush hour...
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Old February 20th, 2015, 01:04 PM   #420
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Originally Posted by K_ View Post
The Swiss IC/IR network breaks even. If you leave network maintenance out of it. The regional network is heavily subsidised. The SBB gets a lot of money from the government.
And the IC/IR network is profitable because competing with it is not allowed. Lets see what happens once we allow private bus operators to offer long distance services...
Are SBB contracted by the government to run the services? If so then it's no different to a private tender situation that occurs in many countries with yield managed railway fare systems too (like the UK in fact).

Also, does it matter if competition isn't allowed? Why do you think competition would make it better? In Sweden there is competition between trains and buses, but the trains are still dire.

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Originally Posted by K_ View Post
More profit leads to more investment, and more importantly, less depency on which side the wind is currently blowing from in the capital. That are good things in my opinion.
And anyway, what is bad with profit? If you ask X for a product, and sell all of it, then this means that your product was worth at least X to begin with. The profit is just that part of the added value you produce you keep for yourself.
Does it? There is a point at which the public get sick of being gouged for profits. This is where the JR Group companies have excelled. They have priced themselves at the sweet spot whereby they manage the majority modal share for medium/medium-long journeys in Japan by having fares that are competitive with car and air travel. This maximised revenue through volume rather than by just having high fares.

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The UK has it's own problems with the trains. But given that the train to London are overflowing during rush hour the problem clearly isn't that the fares are to high.
Yet the modal share to commuting to London isn't that great. Plus, like I said, these are captive users, those that don't really have a choice due to the sheer impossibility of parking in London unless your workplace provides parking (and that's like hens teeth). So by default they can gouge the customers. Doesn't make it good practice, though, and now the government themselves are saying that high rail fares to London are hurting the UK economically by making commuting to London no longer worthwhile for workers below a certain salary threshold as it consumes (on average) 23% of their income per year just to commute into the capital. That's a significant amount of money.

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And then there are the passes sold to residents. Like the GA. This is a steal. And as a result trains are overflowing during rush hour...
I don't understand what you're arguing here? Are you now saying the Swiss pass is a good deal? If so I agree.

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Originally Posted by Sunfuns View Post
If you are really here for 15 days and want to travel a lot it might be a good idea, but on the other hand if you say come from Sweden to visit a friend in Bern for few days then your train tickets to/from Zurich airport will cost you 110 euros which might as well be more than you paid to fly here in the first place.

Swiss train tickets without any discounts are very expensive, not sure why you are still arguing about that part...

Because K_ said that the fares were expensive for the Swiss pass. Most tourists who actually tour and travel around a country come for longer than just one day. If it's a one day or two day visit, then swallowing a small expense is okay (like the train from the airport). But his initial point was that the system disadvantaged tourists. I disagree given the value for money that one sees with the Swiss pass for railways for those tourists that are going to spend a period of time in your country.
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