Encouraging increase in passenger numbers
In 2021, PostBus transported over 135 million passengers, covering a distance of 132 million kilometres. This represents an encouraging rise of 6.5 percent on the previous year, but is still well below the pre-pandemic level (167 million).
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The 6.5-percent increase in passenger numbers compared with 2020 (127 million) is an encouraging development for PostBus. However, at 135.1 million, the passenger numbers last year remained well below the pre-pandemic level. The restrictions imposed on public life due to the pandemic were still evident in various ways in 2021. As a result, the previous record of more than 167 million passengers, which was reached in 2019, is still some distance away.
Nine times around the Earth each day
The 2,370 Postbuses on scheduled services throughout Switzerland covered a total of 132 million kilometres (previous year: 121 million) and ran on 365 days of the year, covering the 11,500 stops on all 993 routes. This means that our vehicles travel nine times around the Earth each day. The average age of the PostBus fleet is just over six years. After around 12 years in service, most vehicles are sold abroad, where they continue to be used for many more years and cover many thousands of kilometres.
Passengers remain very satisfied with the company’s overall performance: the customer satisfaction index score of 81 points was close to the previous year’s figure (82 points). As at 31 December 2021, PostBus Ltd employed 3,023 staff (previous year: 2,846), whose workloads equalled 2,578 full-time equivalents (previous year: 2,405). The significant increase of 177 employees is due partly to the expansion of services in Ticino and partly to the acquisition of employees from PostBus companies.
Exciting projects despite challenging conditions
PostBus is proud of once again maintaining basic services on behalf of the Swiss Confederation at all times during the second year of the coronavirus pandemic. The company also launched and implemented exciting and innovative projects in all regions of Switzerland last year:
For 152 days from March to July, there was plenty happening at a roadshow featuring an electric bus: PostBus took to the road with a rented eCitaro bus in Bellinzona, Interlaken, Glarus, Engelburg, Wohlen in Aargau, Delémont and Moudon. The drivers familiarized themselves with the new technology in service on the routes and at specially organized events. An electric Postbus has also been in operation in the Brugg region of the Canton of Aargau since early June 2021. The battery is recharged at Brugg railway station using a pantograph.
PubliCar makes digital mobile: digitization makes it easy to book on-demand solutions. In Appenzell, Vaud and the Viamala region, the PubliCar App is improving dial-a-ride services and making them more efficient.
With the timetable change in December 2021, PostBus withdrew from bus operations in the Principality of Liechtenstein after 99 years of service. The company is now focusing fully on its operations in Switzerland. Due to the upgrading and interruption of rail transport between Neuchâtel and La Chaux-de-Fonds, replacement buses ran between Neuchâtel and the upper part of the canton from March to October 2021. This was the largest-scale rail replacement service that PostBus has ever operated. PostBus also carried out other major operations, including in the Liestal region and between Lausanne and Geneva.
Finally, a vaccination bus visited around 40 municipalities in Graubünden, enabling the canton to provide a simple and easily accessible service that was heavily used. PostBus operated the bus on behalf of the Canton of Graubünden.
Image: Digital and simple: PostBus is improving its on-demand bus services with the PubliCar App. (Image: PostBus)