Swiss officials shift from planes to trains

SBB trains at Lausanne railway station, source: SBB

The government of Switzerland has set a positive example for other countries in reducing CO2 emissions. Since 1 July, the federal officials must travel by train instead of taking a plane for short-haul business trips.

This extraordinary decision was implemented in accordance with the ‘Air Travel Action Plan’, which was adopted by the Federal Council in December 2019 and is dedicated to environmentally friendly policy. The document sets an ambitious goal for the Swiss government to reduce CO2 emissions from air journeys by 30 per cent by 2030. One of the efficient measures is a modal shift for the Swiss federal officials. Starting from Wednesday, 1 July, they are required to pay more attention to trains as a reliable and zero-emission mode of transport, especially in their business trips.

Two conditions

There are two conditions for choosing a train instead of a plane for the Swiss federal officials. The first one is related to time management. If a journey from Bern to an important destination in Europe lasts less than 6 hours, then the train will be a preferable option for business trips. For instance, train travel from Bern to Turin or Luxembourg takes around 5 hours.

The second condition is as follows: a train must be taken even if a journey is longer than 6 hours but shorter than a flight by plane. According to this term, railways must be used in the following cases: fro travelling between Bern and Marseille (7 hours by train and 8 hours by plane) or from Bern to Salzburg (6.5 hours by train and 7 hours by plane. In any other cases, the Swiss federal officials are able to fly on planes but only in the economy class.

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Author: Mykola Zasiadko

Mykola Zasiadko is editor of online trade magazines and

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