Principles of transport policy

Railway line with approaching train - crossing the railway line is a bridge with cars and heavy goods vehicles

Transport infrastructure is the neural network of the economy and society. These are important both for the population as well as for the attractiveness of Switzerland as a business centre.

Rail and road networks connect different regions. The responsibilities for road and rail transport, transalpine transit traffic and aviation are regulated in the Federal Constitution (Chapter 5).
The following federal offices are responsible for implementing and supervising transport infrastructure:

Swiss transport policy must ensure that the transport network functions well and is kept to a high technical standard. It must take account of the safety and transport needs of future generations well in advance. On the basis of DETEC's sustainability strategy, the transport offices have set the following objectives:

  • Coordination of road, rail and air transport between the Confederation, cantons and agglomerations.
  • Development of intelligent transport infrastructure and efficient transport management or ‘smart roads'.
  • Long-term and sustainable investment to maintain the performance of the transport system. Follow-up costs to be taken into account.
  • Simple and transparent funding instruments which are designed not only to provide financial resources but also to encourage transport use in line with market needs.


  • eliminate bottlenecks and keep the transport system running smoothly.
  • take account early on of population growth, limited land reserves and transport requirements of future generations.
  • make best possible use of limited financial resources by strictly prioritising planned projects.
  • put in place a stable financing system and step-by-step planning to replace ageing transport infrastructure.

Mobility in brief

«Microcensus Mobility and transport» 2021, Federal Statistical Office and Federal Office for Spatial Development

New Gotthard railway tunnel

New Gotthard railway tunnel

The world’s longest railway tunnel was officially opened on 1 June 2016 – the Gotthard Base Tunnel. Covering 57.1km, it is the cornerstone of the European Rhine-Alpine Corridor for freight transport and is part of Switzerland’s “New Rail Link through the Alps” (NRLA). This once-in-a-century construction project represents a substantial contribution by Switzerland to the European transport infrastructure and symbolises Swiss values, such as innovation, precision and reliability.

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General Secretariat
Federal Department of the Environment, Transport, Energy and Communications DETEC

Federal Palace North
CH-3003 Bern

+41 58 462 55 11

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