LOST: for increasingly safe public transport

24 October 2014  •  Author(s): Pierre-Yves Gruaz – Chief Operating Officer of TPG

LOST: for increasingly safe public transport

LOST – which has nothing to do with missing people or the famed TV series – stands for the new law on transportation company security bodies which came into force throughout Switzerland on 1 October 2011, and the country’s public transport companies had nearly a year to apply it to daily operations. Implementing this new law on the TPG network (Geneva’s public transport company) required a new collaboration with the CFF (Chemins de Fer Fédéraux) Railway Police, known as Polfer. Pierre-Yves Gruaz – Chief Operating Officer of TPG – provides further information about LOST and explains that Polfer have been accompanying TPG’s own security agents on the ground and lending a hand since autumn 2011.

Under the terms of LOST, ‘transport police’ refers to sworn uniformed public servants in possession of a Federal Police certificate, as the carrying of arms is necessary. The TPG’s own security service encompasses ticket inspectors and employees who assist drivers on the network on a daily basis, particularly during disruptions. Both bodies have equal authority to:

  • Verify the validity of tickets
  • Query and verify passengers’ identity documents
  • Arrest offenders for contravening TPG regulations
  • Prohibit people who do not comply with TPG regulations from using the network
  • Requisition of collateral from offenders (identity documents,
    residence permits etc.).

The Transport Police, now contracted by CFF to TPG, have further jurisdiction to remand those arrested in custody and to confiscate any illegal items in their possession.

Does TPG need its own police force?

As LOST comes into force, the TPG has not only defined the powers of its own security personnel – particularly ticket inspectors who, in their line of duty are often challenged by fraudsters – but has also strengthened its network security policy to provide employees, Geneva’s citizens and passengers ever-safer public transport. Incivility has been on the rise since the 1990s and the sole presence and authority of inspectors and professional security guards was deemed to no longer be enough. With the new opportunities provided for by the new law, TPG decided to enlist reinforcements in the form of a police force.

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