Zurich prepares to move with the times

11 November 2013  •  Author(s): Jacques Baumann, Deputy Director and Divisional Head of Marketing, Zurich Public Transport

The city of Zurich in north-central Switzerland is experiencing enormous growth. By 2030, jobs and residents in the city are expected to increase by 15% and 20% respectively. Public transport needs to keep pace with this growth as failure to do so could result in gridlock because traffic congestion has long been a problem on the roads. Seven years ago, VBZ (Zurich Public Transport) conducted its first ever systematic network planning study – its aim was to show how this growth could be accommodated.

The need for ‘rolling’ review

Because the growth of an urban area such as Zurich, with more than a million inhabitants, is subject to constant change, the public transport planning strategy for this zone must be kept under ‘rolling’ review. In other words, expansion projects must be regularly monitored in respect of their relevance to the changed situation, their financial viability, feasibility and need, and amended accordingly. Vision and foresight are unquestionably important. However, it would be wrong to base decisions on them alone. What is required is a ‘philosophy of balance’ – that is to say the transport needs of the population should be accorded the same level of importance as the shifting town planning priorities. The long-term economic viability of new lines is a factor, as is the prevailing mood with its short-lived hypes and trends.

The rest of this content is restricted to logged-in subscribers. Login or register (it's free!) to view the full content.

Leave a reply