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Zurich - Verkehrsbetriebe Zürich has received a multitude of suggestions from the general public with regard to their future strategy. The transport authority for the city of Zurich asked for people to get in touch via several digital channels with regard to their visions for public transport in the city.

According to figures from the newspaper “Neue Zürcher Zeitung” (NZZ), Verkehrsbetriebe Zürich (VBZ), the city’s public transport authority, received around 500 submissions and nearly 100 comments in various online forums. The VBZ had asked Zurich locals for their ideas with regard to public transport of the future as part of the VBZ 2050 project, which aims to develop a new strategy.

The responses were “controversial, as expected”, according to an article in the NZZ. The suggestions ranged from public transport free at the point of use, fewer stops and shorter journey times, to more appealing sidewalk connections and a greater number of parking spaces for bicycles and e-scooters. However, subterranean and air-based public transport lines were also put forward by respondents, the article explains.

The lack of required space was a topic that came up regularly, the NZZ writes, also outlining how the feedback received provides VBZ decision-makers with an insight into the mood of the general public. Among other aspects, the public complained about unfriendly drivers, “irritatingly bright lights on the bus in the morning” and too few seats at the stops.

The VBZ “certainly took a bit of a risk” in opening this debate up to the wider public, Thomas Hablützel, Head of Market Development at VBZ, concedes. “However, we were convinced that this new approach would pay off”, he adds, before explaining that, generally speaking, the respondents were above all people that were “already sympathetic towards public transport”.