In international passenger transport, whether by rail, road or boat, a distinction is made between long-distance, regional and local transport services. The latter is partly commissioned by the federal government, the cantons concerned and neighbouring regions, while international long-distance services must be self-financing.
International long-distance services
International rail passenger services to and from Switzerland are operated by the SBB and its foreign partners. The national railway operators in our neighbouring countries are responsible for operating services abroad, while the SBB is responsible for services on routes in Switzerland. The train compositions used for these services are drawn from Swiss and foreign partner rolling stock (e.g. TGV, ICE).
In addition to long-distance rail services, Switzerland is also integrated into a comprehensive network of long-distance European coach routes. These services may only be used for international journeys.
International long-distance transport services do not receive any form of financial support from the federal government or from the cantons. They are, however, subject to federal government authorisation.
Cross-border regional passenger transport
In many cases, cross-border regional transport by rail, road or water is commissioned by the federal government, the cantons concerned and neighbouring regions over the border. The services commissioned by the federal government relate only to the Swiss section of the cross-border route.
Cross-border local passenger transport
In many cases, local bus, tram and ship services straddle the border. As is usual regarding local transport in Switzerland, The federal government is not involved in the commissioning of services by the cantons, communes or neighbouring regions over the border.
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