The SBB close the counters at high speed in Switzerland, In many stations, an automaton replaces the staff at the counter.
On the Bern side, no one is upset about the situation. Federal Councillor Simonetta Sommaruga’s Department of the Environment, Transport, Energy and Communications (DETEC) is not expected to oppose closures.
When asked about this, a spokesman referred to parliamentary interventions on the subject, to which the Federal Council replied by indicating that it did not want to interfere.
“Defining the point-of-sale network is an operational task for SBB,” the federal government said in 2018.
There are no rigid and fixed criteria for closing counters. There is also no overview of multi-year planning.
The next counters to be touched therefore remain a surprise.
Since 2013, 55 ticket offices in stations have been abandoned. This year alone, 13 stations will be affected.
This year, the railways are closing ticket offices in a number of stations they had not reached since at least 2013.
Yesterday, the ticket offices were closed in Herzogenbuchsee (BE), Cham (ZG), Pully (VD) and Biasca (TI) as well as in the Zurich municipalities of Dietlikon, Hinwil, Kloten, Männedorf and Oberwinterthur.
The travel centre in Münsingen (BE) has been transferred to the BLS. And it’s not over. On 1 October, the centres in Sissach (BL), Wettingen (AG) and Zurzach (AG) will be closed.
At the end of the year, SBB will probably still have 130 counters served, 13 fewer than in 2021 and 55 fewer than at the end of 2013, reports the “Schweiz am Wochenende”.
These closures have consequences for users because it is not possible to do everything via smartphone. International tickets are still not available in the app, but only in the online store, which is not designed for smartphones.
Seats in the dining car can only be reserved at the ticket office or via a paid hotline.
In the weekly, Reto Schärli, spokesman for SBB, explains that the pandemic has reinforced the decline in ticket purchases at the box office.
They are now only 5% to do so. Personalized advice certainly remains an important need of customers, and in medium and large travel centers, this desire continues to increase.