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Transport development

Swiss Transport Outlook 2050

Client

Federal Departments of the Environment, Transport, Energy and Communication (DETEC)

Year

2021


How will passenger and freight transport in Switzerland develop up to the year 2050? We supported the Swiss Offices for Spatial Development (ARE), Transport (BAV), Roads (ASTRA), Energy (SFOE) and the Environment (FOEN) on behalf of the Federal Department for the Environment, Transport, Energy and Communication (DETEC), in answering this question. Transport Outlook 2050 serves as a new basis for federal transport and spatial planning.

Transport in Switzerland is increasing

Social and economic trends such as increases in home office, expanding urbanisation, and an aging  population, are all driving transport growth. In the main “Basis” scenario, however, growth in transport levels by 2050 (+11 percent) is significantly less than the increase in population (+21 percent).

Freight transport grows by 31 percent in the “Basis” scenario (see below), which although significant, represents less growth than economic development, which records an increase in gross domestic product of 57 percent. This is also dictated by social and economic trends.

Smaller transport capacities, increased bundling of goods

Decarbonisation and increasing electromobility mean that in future the import of fuel and heating oil will decrease, and an increased number of smaller cargoes will be transported rather than bulk cargoes. Strong demand in online commerce is driving up delivery van traffic. The increased bundling of goods at distribution points facilitates rail transport, such as that of individual and grouped goods. Overall, the amount of goods being transported by rail is increasing; their share increases from 37 to 39 percent.

The four scenarios

  • “Basis” scenario: Principles of action of “Mobility and Space 2050,” the programme part of the transport plan. Reflects a shift towards the resource-efficient mobility of people and goods.
  • “Business-as Usual” scenario: Continuation of the current situation, based on a regulatory framework that changes very little.
  • “Individualised Society” and “Sustainable Society” scenarios: Transport is strongly influenced by technical innovations, such as the automation of passenger vehicles. However, technologies are used for different purposes, either for individual comfort (“individualised society”) or for sustainability and resource conservation (“sustainable society”).

All scenarios are based on different assumptions, such as how quickly environmentally friendly technologies are established.

Links and downloads

Traffic Outlook 2050 (PDF in German, website of the Federal Office for Spatial Development)

Further information in German (website of the Federal Office for Spatial Development)

Press release in German (website of the Federal Office for Spatial Development)

Project team: Alex Auf der Maur, Hans-Paul Kienzler, Andreas Brutsche

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Alex Auf der Maur

Senior Project Manager

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Andreas Brutsche

Analyst

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Prognos is one of the oldest economic research centres in Europe. Founded at the University of Basel, Prognos experts have been conducting research for a wide range of clients from the public and private sectors since 1959 – politically independent, scientifically sound.

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