The Lake Geneva region of tomorrow is our challenge today.
The Lake Geneva region is Switzerland’s second most important business location and one of the ten most dynamic regions in Europe. Between 2000 and 2008 it recorded a significant demographic and economic upturn, with around 120,000 additional residents and 52,000 new jobs. To the SBB Group it presents great growth potential.
SBB currently carries up to 50,000 passengers every day between Lausanne and Geneva, with an additional 11,000 people on the future Geneva S-Bahn network "Réseau Express Régional Franco-Valdo-Genevois" (FVG) and 27,000 on the Lausanne S-Bahn network (REV). In French-speaking Switzerland, demand is growing at a rate 2% higher than in the rest of the country.
The number of passengers travelling between Lausanne and Geneva doubled between 2000 and 2010. It will double again by 2030, with around 100,000 people travelling each day. The Geneva and Lausanne S-Bahn networks will increase their service and introduce additional trains capable of dealing effectively with the demand. Furthermore, the future link between Geneva and Annemasse (CEVA) has outstanding growth potential.
The Cantons of Vaud and Geneva, the Federal Office of Transport (FOT) and SBB have all undertaken to develop services and infrastructure progressively as part of the Léman 2030 project. SBB’s priorities are to double the seating capacity between Lausanne and Geneva, and increase the frequency of trains on the REV and FVG S-Bahn to one every 15 minutes by 2020–2025. To achieve this target, the trains currently used on national routes will be replaced with double-decker trains and more efficient trains will be introduced on the S-Bahn.
Alongside investments in new trains, developing the infrastructure is a further key factor for the success of the project. The key rail hubs of Lausanne and Geneva are of national significance and can barely cope with the current demand. Adjustments are necessary in order to fulfil the growing customer base (access to the trains) and the expansion of the service (greater capacity, length of the platforms). In order to minimise the negative effects of the construction site on customers, work phases and communication need to be managed in an innovative way.
The infrastructure costs for the first phase of the Léman 2030 project are estimated to be around 2.5 billion Swiss francs. A new approach is needed to procure and handle the yearly financial resources, with the canton financing certain phases of the project in advance. The project is enabling expansion of Lausanne and Geneva stations, better access to trains, and improvements to interfaces with urban public transport. The focus of the Lausanne–Geneva connection is upgrading stations at Morges, Allaman, Rolle, Gland and Nyon, and also the S-Bahn stops, and planning the building areas that will house the infrastructure for the next phases of the Léman 2030 project.