Illegal trade – private individuals are not allowed to resell day tickets from municipalities – Kassensturz espresso
Municipal day tickets are illegally resold on the Internet. Anyone who uses it risks a fine.
An “Espresso” listener was amazed when he discovered various offers for community day tickets on Ricardo. He wondered, “Is that allowed?” No it is not. Because the tickets clearly state: “No middlemen”.
This black market clearly contradicts the tariff regulations.
The fact that day tickets for municipalities are auctioned on the Internet has not gone unnoticed by those responsible at the Association of Municipalities and Towns. Claudia Kratochvil, deputy director of the municipal association, says: “We have also heard of such resales. However, such day tickets may only be sold by municipalities and cities.” And Monika Litscher from the Association of Cities doubles: “This black market clearly contradicts the tariff regulations.”
If misuse is detected, the passenger must pay a surcharge for an invalid ticket.
Resale is not allowed
It is clear in these provisions that only people with a day pass from Baden (AG), for example, are allowed to travel if they really live in Baden, says Thomas Ammann, media spokesman for the public transport industry organization Alliance Swisspass: “The tariff provisions explicitly exclude resale . This is also stated on the ticket. If misuse is detected, the traveler must pay a surcharge for an invalid ticket.” In other words, he will be fined for fare dodgers and will have to shell out around 100 francs.
In the past, people have been caught with such auctioned municipal day tickets, says Ammann: “For example, tourists were traveling with such a day ticket and were fined accordingly.”
Why are sellers not held accountable?
Actually, however, it should be in the interests of Alliance Swisspass to fine the Internet sellers of municipal day tickets and not the unsuspecting buyers. This is anything but easy, says Ammann: “It would go beyond the scope if we also had to find out who the online seller was. Our control task is limited to public transport, where we can also levy surcharges.”
The community day pass in its current form is a phased-out model, not least because of the illegal intermediary trade. From 2024 there will be the new community savings day pass. This is personalized with the name of the person traveling with it. Incidentally, there is no problem with reselling the normal SBB day tickets over the Internet. These are transferrable, but also cost a lot more.
It is the responsibility of the seller to comply with the original ticket sales conditions.
Ricardo: No need for action yet
Those responsible at Ricardo see no need for action for the time being because of the auctioned municipal day tickets. On the one hand, the trading of non-personalized tickets is not prohibited under Ricardo’s General Terms and Conditions (GTC), the media office writes at the request of “Espresso”. It is therefore the responsibility of the seller to comply with the original ticket sales conditions. On the other hand, it is noted that only a handful of such day tickets are currently being offered and, moreover, not at overpriced prices – so there are probably no commercial resales.
However, the media office adds that the situation will change with the introduction of personalized day tickets in 2024: “We will then remove the corresponding tickets from the platform.”