The transport companies set public transport fares in accordance with Article 15 of the Passenger Transport Act (PTA).
You only need one ticket or season ticket for a journey, even if it is with different companies, for example SBB, RhB and Postbus. Known as 'direct transport' (DT), this principle is anchored in Article 16 of the PTA; it makes travelling easier and is an important success factor in Switzerland's flagship public transport model. DT is available for journeys within regional transport networks and for cross-network (national) journeys.
In order to make DT available across the whole of the Swiss network, fares and tickets are not set by the individual transport companies but by the branch organisation Alliance SwissPass. The 18 regional associations organise themselves separately for DT within their network.
In recent years, the regional associations have expanded their networks. This means there is now frequent overlap with the national DT network, and so the systems need to be better coordinated. To this end, Alliance SwissPass has set up a Strategy Council. The Federal Office of Transport (FOT) is represented on this council in an advisory capacity. The FOT works to ensure that customers have a simple and user-friendly fare system that is affordable for the taxpayer.
Public transport companies are also required to comply with the legal provisions on passenger rights. The FOT can be called upon to intervene as an enforcement body with regard to passenger rights.