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What the Federal Office of Transport does
The job of the Federal Office of Transport (FOT) is to implement and to help design Swiss policy on public transport. It is thus responsible for significant areas of the transport policy agreed by the Swiss people, parliament and Federal Council, including passenger and goods transport on the railways, cableways and chairlifts, buses and ships. At the start of 2012 the FOT employed 290 people in its five divisions:
Public transport in Switzerland must be safe, efficient, economic, and as environmentally friendly as possible. The FOT works towards these goals day in and day out.
Recent years have seen improvements in the legal and organisational framework conditions for public transport, but that is not all: the extension of the railway network and the improved service in passenger and goods transport means that travelling in Switzerland is now more comfortable and more efficient than ever. Every day, the FOT's experts plan and monitor the construction of the necessary railway infrastructure, and contribute to organising its funding. In the interests of providing public service the FOT, together with the cantons, secures the financing of seamless public transport. In the interests of the environment, the FOT's employees are working to ensure that goods transport is switched from road to rail as quickly and sustainably as possible. All this is needed to provide public transport that is both environmentally friendly and economic, for personal mobility and for our economy.
One of the Office's core responsibilities is the safety of public transport. A person on the move should be able to travel and transport things safely. Here, the FOT defines and establishes internationally coordinated safety standards for public transport. To implement them, the FOT's experts work closely with the transport companies, and check that the safety regulations are faithfully observed. This applies not just to the operation of public transport, but also to the planning and construction of its infrastructure, the tracks and the rolling stock.
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