When arriving in Delémont, the capital city of the Swiss Canton of Jura, one would not suspect that in this sparsely populated city of only 12,000 inhabitants there are trains every 20 minutes leaving for Basel, Zurich, Bern, Geneva, as well as frequent buses to surrounding villages in the rural canton.
In fact, in the Canton of Jura, 95% of the population live no farther than 500 meters from a public transport stop. This comes largely from the fact that the train and bus networks are well-interconnected. Additionally, continued service improvements by local bus operator, CarPostal, have noticeably changed how people in this region move around.
The Canton of Jura is traditionally an area where private-car travel was the preferred mode of transport. However, between 2000 and 2010 the modal share of public transport has gone from 13% up to 21.5% – an increase of 65% in 10 years. Though still a large portion of daily mobility, car use is stagnating. This rise in public transport is the result of various actions expanding mobility options in the area, including: additional off-peak-hour trains from 4 am to 1pm, night buses from 1am to 4am, the replacement of weekday on-demand bus services by regular bus lines, as well as investments in train stations and new buses.
Other effective public mobility initiatives have led to the creation of a Tariff Community called Vagabond, and the willingness to concentrate high-traffic areas – such as offices, schools, and residential zones – near public transport services. Some schools have even adapted their working hours to public transport timetables. As a result, the total demand for public transport in this area has increased by a whopping 58%.
For more information on how well-planned mobility options can increase the use of regional public transport, please contact Anne Mordret, UITP manager for regional transport programmes and studies.