CZ/SK verze

Switzerland is successfully reducing the volume of truck traffic by toll. In addition, toll revenues are intended for the development of railway infrastructure.

Switzerland is successfully reducing the volume of truck traffic by toll. In addition, toll revenues are intended for the development of railway infrastructure.
photo: Archives/Railway
31 / 07 / 2021

Switzerland cooperates with the European Union in the framework of the implementation of the objectives of the Green Deal and promotes rail transport. Switzerland has introduced a special toll system for truck transport. The entire network is included in the toll system, so there is no space to bypass the toll infrastructure. Fees are levied in the form of a vignette, which applies to both cars and lorries.

Trucks still have to pay a toll separately, which is derived from the weight of the vehicle, the emission class and the length of the route travelled – the so-called mass-distance fee (LSVA). The main objective of introducing the toll system was to reduce truck traffic, move transport from road to rail and solve the transport of goods in the Alpine region.

Unlike other countries, toll revenues are used for the modernisation or development of the Swiss rail network. A total of 2/3 of the LSVA revenues go to large transport constructions, these are the most important sources of financing of the so-called "LSVA". Transalp railway wasps (NEAT – complex of tunnels Lötschberg and Gotthard).

The introduction of the LSVA charge and the gradual increase in weight limits had a positive effect on the reduction of transport performance for all road freight transport and at the same time on the increase in the volume of goods transported per kilometre (tonne-kilometres), i.e. the improvement of the truckload. Another consequence of charging for the road network is the increasing use of rail freight transport, both in national and transit transport. We can also see a steady increase in the combined freight transport unassured (transfer of the transport unit) and the truck-on-rail service, where trucks are loaded on the train.

In the case of international road freight transit transport, the transport may be carried out under the TC — Common transit procedure or under the TIR carnet procedure.

LSVA is applied to passenger and freight vehicles with a paid weight of more than 3.5 tonnes. The rate of charge per kilometre depends on the emission class of the vehicle and the maximum authorised mass of the vehicle. Vehicles are equipped with an OBU (On-Board Unit) unit (foreign vehicles can use smart cards). Selection using an OBU unit is specific in Switzerland. Unlike Germany and other countries with an electronic way of collecting toll OBU, the unit cooperates with a tachograph that records kilometres travelled. If the vehicle leaves the territory of Switzerland, the device is deactivated, reactivated when the vehicle returns to the territory of the State and records the kilometres travelled again.

The toll system works based on a combination of satellite technology and a tachograph-connected smart card or on-board unit (OBU) that stores information on the emission category and maximum mass of the vehicle and which begins or ends with the loading of the number of kilometres driven when passing through the country's borders

For rail freight transport, between 1998 and 2005, there was also an increase in the volume of goods transported per kilometre (tonne-kilometres) of around 30 % or 2.5 billion tkm. The most significant increase was recorded for transit traffic (33.4%) and national transport (31.2%).

a constant increase can be observed in the use of the truck-on-rail service, where lorries are loaded on the train and thus the use of rail transport instead of road transport. This is mainly beneficial for the Alpine region, where road transport decreased by 8% in 2003 and this positive trend continued the following year when there was a further 3% decrease in the transport of goods provided by trucks.

positives of the introduction of tolls:

-        transfer of part of freight transport to rail

-        investment of toll revenues in railway infrastructure, in particular, NEAT

-        renewal of the fleet of freight carriers

-        improvement of emission characteristics

-        more efficient vehicle deployment (elimination of empty rides)