Public transport is very energy-efficient: for equal transport capacities, public transport uses three times less energy than motorised private transport. In freight transport, it is up to ten times more efficient to transport goods by rail than by road. By taking on a larger part of the traffic volume, public transport can increase the energy efficiency of the entire transport sector. In order to maintain its environmental advantage, we need to keep increasing the energy efficiency of means of public transport, as well as the proportion of renewable energy used.

Under the Federal Council’s Energy Strategy, the Federal Office of Transport (FOT) has launched the Energy Strategy for Public Transport 2050 (ESPT 2050) programme. Its goals are to:

  • Increase energy efficiency
  • Opt out of nuclear energy
  • Reduce CO2 emissions
  • Produce renewable energy

The objectives of the ESPT 2050 are demanding. They require that transport companies, industries, and authorities take effective and coordinated measures on vehicles, infrastructure and operations.

The programme has three main approaches:

  • Develop incentive systems and promote the implementation of measures
  • Establish a solid evidence base, foster the exchange of information and increase coordination
  • Identify, finance and support innovative projects

Under this programme, the FOT helps the public transport sector to choose and implement projects that strive to use energy rationally and encourage the use of renewable energy. Additionally, it fosters dialogue and exchange in workshops and at the annual forum on energy efficiency, which has been taking place each autumn since 2013.

Thanks to these activities, innovative projects can be realised that without the ESPT 2050 programme would not have got beyond the idea stage. At the same time, the FOT gets the opportunity at an early stage to create conditions – such as performance agreements or via legislation on public transport – that allow for the fast, coherent and pragmatic development of the public transport sector.