History of PostBus

We are very experienced and are proud to remain in motion - with tradition and innovation.

History

The establishment of PostBus commenced in 1849 with the creation of a mail network using horses, the last representative of which is the legendary Gotthard horse-drawn mail coach and still operates on the Gotthard pass route and fascinates many curious onlookers. The first scheduled mail route using vehicles was started between Berne and Detligen in 1906. The network has been increasingly expanded ever since. In 2003, PostBus transported more than 100 million passengers for the first time. The first steps abroad were taken in the Principality of Liechtenstein in 2001 and in Dole (F) in 2004.

In 2011 PostBus rolled out its first fuel cell-powered buses in Brugg (AG). Furthermore, the first stations of the country-wide bike and e-bike self-rental system PubliBike were also opened.

In 2013 PostBus put an extra-large postbus into service, the first in a long time, and in 2014 PostBus tested a new type of bicycle trailer, the “bike porter”, in the Grisons region. In 2015 the PostBus subsidiary PubliBike won the call for tender for the bike-sharing network in Zurich with over 100 stations. PostBus started the test operations of the SmartShuttle in Sion in 2016. 

2010 to 2016

2016

Together with partners of the Mobility Lab, PostBus tested the electronic ticket system CIBO in Sion. The passengers use their smartphone and always receive the lowest price for the route they travelled.

On 23 June the test operations of the SmartShuttles was launched in Sion, the first self-driving vehicles in Switzerland to transport passengers in the public sphere. These are trailblazing tests worldwide.

Beginning in September the mobility app NordwestMobil was tested in the Basel region. The app allows customers to combine private and public means of transport – an absolute first. NordwestMobil makes the option to use various means of transport much easier and clearer.

In early December 2016 PostBus launched the first two electric shuttle buses for skiers. The buses are completely battery-operated and free to use for the guests in Saas-Fee. These were the first electric buses in Switzerland that PostBus put into operation.

2015

In the process of the city of Zurich’s plans to establish the largest bike-sharing network in Switzerland featuring over 100 stations the PostBus subsidiary PubliBike won the call for tender ahead of five other competitors.

Together, the five postbuses with fuel cells in the Brugg region passed the mark of one million kilometres on 31 July 2015, providing proof that as a drive technology, hydrogen is unquestionably suitable for public transport.

PostBus launched PubliRide, a product for communities and companies to encourage the establishment of car pools. With the Internet platform, it is easy and convenient to organise a car pool. While the goal of PubliRide is to decongest traffic in the cities, this is intended to enhance the existing public transport services in rural areas.

2014

The first PostBus stops were equipped with DynPaper. These new timetables are no longer printed on paper. Instead, departure times are indicated on a flexible, electronic display. The 13 stops with DynPaper were part of a pilot project until the spring of 2015.

PostBus and the Swiss Parks Network launched the partner campaign “With PostBus to the Swiss Parks”. The kick-off of the partnership was celebrated with a public event at Bern’s Federal Plaza. In addition, a postbus in Swiss Parks design went on a tour of Switzerland. The purpose was to encourage people to choose public transport to travel to 20 park regions.

In the Grisons, PostBus tested the new “bike porter” bicycle trailer, a ground-breaking project in Switzerland.

In the summer of 2015 the public transport industry introduced the SwissPass. The PostBus drivers were provided with robust smartphones for this. PostBus also offers these tools, the inspection software for the SwissPass as well as the operation of the inspection system to other transport companies.

2013

For the first time in a quarter century PostBus put an extra-large postbus (bus with trailer) into service on the Laupen–Düdingen route.

PostBus gained initial experience with a battery-operated bus. For two weeks a battery-operated electric vehicle was in operation for test purposes in Yverdon.

After a rigorous test phase PostBus introduced real time information in the area covered by the Nordwestschweiz fare association: travellers can now obtain actually expected departure and arrival times from the display boards provided at the stops.

2012

PostBus acquires velopass GmbH and becomes Switzerland’s largest bike rental self-service company.

PostBus begins to equip its fleet with free WiFi. The roll-out is completed in April 2013.

Switzerland’s first hydrogen filling station for buses opens in Brugg. It supplies vehicles which have been used to test fuel cell technology in public transport since December 2011.

The free PostBus App is launched. It is available in German, French, Italian and English.

The MyPlus loyalty programme is launched. Customers benefit from exclusive special offers, great discounts, reduced fares as well as prize draws and competitions.

Switzerland’s first three PostBus vehicles using the lower-emission Euro 6 drive system are put into operation in the conurbation of Berne.

2011

As first public transport company in Switzerland, PostBus moves ahead with the operation of hydrogen-fuelled vehicles.

PostBus, SBB and Rent a Bike inaugurate the first PubliBike stations in four Swiss towns. PubliBike offers bicycles and E-Bikes for personal use in the form of rentals - thus completing the final mile in the service transport chain.

PostBus receives a new brand image.

2010

PostBus wins public tender to provide bus services in Liechtenstein for a ten-year term starting in 2011.

The first hybrid postbus went into operation in the Bern region. It saves 20 to 30 per cent of fuel compared to a pure diesel bus.

PostBus has launched its first bike-sharing service in the city of Sion with 50 bicycles at six rental stations.

With LeisureClick, PostBus is the first public transportation company to launch an augmented reality application for leisure activities.

2000 to 2009

2009 PostBus wins several public tenders to provide bus services in France, including Mâcon, Dole, Agde, and Villefranche-sur-Saône, in the Herault Department and the greater Grenoble area.
2007 Mobile communication makes its debut
2006 PostBus celebrates its centenary.
2005 PostBus wins the tenders for the French towns of Obernai and Bourg-en-Bresse
2004

Swiss Post founds PostBus Switzerland Ltd, which commences operation on 1 July 2006.

PostBus tenders its vehicle procurement activities as part of a WTO tender.

PostBus Switzerland secures the tender for the bus network in Dôle (F) for the next six years.

2003

PostBus carries more than 100 million passengers for the first time.

PostBus becomes the first transport company to be awarded the Q quality seal level III from the Swiss tourist board.

2002 Swiss Post introduces five flagship brands under the core "SWISS POST" brand. In addition to the new flagship brand logo, the name PostBus is now written with a capital "B".
2001 The Alpine Post routes are offered worldwide as "Route Express Lines".
2000 FlyCar: the FlyCar ran in 2000 in Ticino between Lugano and Milan Malpensa Airport in Italy. The service was withdrawn a few years later because of a lack of demand.
2000

PostBus is commissioned by the Stiftung Behindertentransport des Kantons Bern (Foundation for the transport of people with disabilities for Canton Berne) to operate two special vehicles in Thun under the brand name VivaCar.

PostBus Switzerland wins the WTO tender to operate the bus network in Liechtenstein for the next ten years.

1990 to 1999

1999 CityCar Martigny: the world's smallest Postbus, the two-seater, electric CityCar, was tested by PostBus and its partners under laboratory conditions in Martigny. The concept was discontinued following the test phase as the costs involved were too high.
1998 PostBus experiences its first taste of cantonal tenders and reinforces its position as a market leader in road-based regional transport in Switzerland.
1996 The revised Railways Act enters into force; the cantons are now responsible for regional transport.
1995 The PubliCar dial-a-ride system is introduced in Frauenfeld and Oron.
1995 16 regional PostBus centres are set up in preparation for the impending free market.
1992 The opening ceremony of the PostBus station in Chur takes place in 1992.  At that time, PostBus Switzerland Ltd did not yet exist: passenger transport services were still part of the District Postal Directorates.

1980 to 1989

1980 PostBus begins operating the city buses in Bellinzona.

1970 to 1979

1975 The PostBus holiday pass is introduced.
1971 All Postbuses and stops appear in Swiss Post yellow with a red band.
1970 The first female bus driver is appointed – in 1970 Claire Buner applied to Swiss Post for a job as a bus driver. She became the first woman to be accepted and received the necessary training. Starting in 1971, she worked on the Jonschwil-Uzwil route for around 20 years.

1960 to 1969

1969 The first articulated Postbus is brought into operation
1965 The first, modern, sheltered PostBus station is built above the platforms of the main railway station in Berne.
1961 The last horse-drawn mail coach is discontinued on the Avers-Juf route.

1950 to 1959

1959 The new PostBus operator vehicles receive a face-lift in ochre yellow. These vehicles previously sported the company colours of the respective owner.
1957 PostBus operates the first school routes.
1956 Ticket machines are installed in 150 Postbuses.
1954 32 new Type IIIa Alpine vans are commissioned; group transport and extra trips are now possible.

1940 to 1949

1949 PostBus takes over the licensed routes in Liechtenstein using its own vehicles.
1946 Opening of the Susten Pass and start of an era which includes the famous three and four-pass round trips which still remain favourites today.
1942 The Alpine Post routes remain out of operation in the run-up to the Second World War.

1930 to 1939

1935 The first cab-over-engine Postbus is commissioned.
1933 The first Postbuses with passenger trailers begin operation.
1931 Postbuses are fitted with diesel engines for the first time.

1920 to 1929

1928 Swiss Post commissions a snow blower for the first time to help ensure the smooth running of winter services over the Maloja Pass.
1927 Postbuses begin operating over the Flüela Pass and 39 mountain roads are designated mountainous postal routes.
1924 Routes switch systematically to motorized forms of transport; the company now employs 169 vehicles.
1923 The three-tone horn is heard for the first time on the mountain routes.
1921 The Alpine Post is founded. The Grimsel, Furka, Bernardino and Oberalp Passes are opened.

1911 to 1920

1919/20 40 army vehicles are converted into Postbuses: the bus company now owns 104 vehicles. As a result, the horse-drawn postal network has all but vanished by 1930.
1919 Opening of the PostBus line via the Simplon Pass.

1849 and 1906

1906 The first scheduled motorized service between Berne and Detligen commences.
1849 Taking over of the cantonal horse-drawn mail coach by the Federal postal service.