National scheduled bus services are a meaningful selective complement to the existing public transport system. New and user-friendly travel options can be created by integrating bus services into the existing tariff system for public transport. This will further strengthen the successful Swiss public transport system and position it as a user-friendly alternative to private cars.
Like every commercial scheduled transport carried out regularly within Switzerland, national scheduled bus services also require a licence. The same rights and obligations apply as to every other licensed transport. A licence is granted if new services do not substantially compete with existing transport services co-financed by the public sector. They may not jeopardise public transport services not supported by the State either. The planned long-distance bus services are integrated into the existing transport and tariff system of public transport, including the acceptance of half-fare and GA travel cards.
As part of the licensing procedure, a bus company must prove that it pays standard wages for the sector and adheres to normal working conditions as well as the provisions of the Working Hours Act and the Disability Discrimination Act. The expediency of the planned long-distance bus routes is and whether it can be operated profitably, as well as whether the company has the necessary rights to use the planned bus stops. The licence lays down the stops for the planned route. In addition, the maximum number of daily runs are laid down as part of the timetabling procedure. The necessary operating licence is granted by the Federal Office of Transport, after consultation of the cantons and transport companies in question.
In its Report on international passenger transport of 18 October 2017, the Federal Council stated that it wished to continue developing international and national long-distance bus services within the existing legal framework.