"Show your tickets, please!" Anyone traveling with children should know their way around.Image: KEYSTONE
The “junior card debacle” has even occupied the Federal Council. Now there is news about the digital Swisspass for under-16s and their adult companions.
“The smart ones travel by train”: Entire generations have internalized the legendary SBB advertising slogan.
Children and young people (up to the age of 16) can do this at a greatly reduced price if they are accompanied by an adult (with a valid ticket). The Junior and Mitfahrkarte costs 30 francs – per year. According to media reports, more than 400,000 such cards are in circulation in Switzerland.
Recently, however, even the state government had to deal with the children's card, as the transition from paper to digital is anything but smooth.
In response to a parliamentary question from National Councilor Maja Riniker (FDP), the Federal Council announced in April:
"Probably in autumn 2022, it will also be possible to display the Junior card on the parents' SwissPass."
For the time being, the problem child is not yet out of the problem zone, stated tagblatt.ch (CH Media) and described the whole thing as a "junior card debacle".
As is now apparent, the Federal Council's forecast could have been too optimistic. The organization Alliance SwissPass explains to watson that the desired solution will be available “probably by the end of the year”.
Other technical implementation
The implementation date has not yet been fixed, says Thomas Ammann, spokesman for the public transport industry association.
“We are still aiming for September to November. The solution should come sometime during this period, at the latest by the timetable change.”
The date for the timetable change is December 11th.
As the spokesman for Alliance SwissPass explains, those responsible have also rejected the originally planned technical implementation. A solution that was outlined to watson in February.
At the time, Alliance SwissPass said they were working on a solution that would allow users to swipe their mobile phone's touchscreen to check the travelcards of their fellow passengers. Similar to the Covid certificate app. "Swiping can then be used to switch between different accounts on SwissPass Mobile," the media spokesman promised.
Traveling with the Junior travelcard is now to become even more user-friendly, at least as far as ticket checks are concerned. The inspectors should now only have to check the Swisspass of the accompanying adult. Children traveling with you should be registered there in the future.
Watson's question as to how SwissPass users can enter their own children, godchildren and other young fellow travelers remains unanswered for the time being. It is still too early for details that affect the handling.
"We're working on a solution," says Ammann.
Workaround with multiple apps
Until the linking of the SwissPass accounts has been implemented, public transport users should use a well-known workaround: install several apps on their own smartphone, such as SBB Mobile, SBB Preview, etc., and enter the SwissPass data for under-16s there.
PS: The new version of the SBB app, which is expected to be released in autumn, will most likely not allow you to "store" multiple SwissPass profiles. In any case, watson is not aware of any plans.
What remains certain is the identification requirement. Public transport passengers will therefore have to carry an official document with them in the future so that they do not risk any activities during a ticket inspection.
What Grosi and Co. know
Since April 1, 2022, the SwissPass has been required for the junior card (parents) or the co-travelcard (grandparents, godparents, uncles or parents of friends' children), as tagblatt.ch explains. But not only the SwissPass of the parents or grandparents, but every child needs one of these cards for public transport – and accordingly has to carry it with them at all times.
In the event of loss, a new card costs 30 francs – the same as the Junior card itself. Several Junior cards for each parent, as was the case up to now, are no longer issued – physically there is only 1 card.
But the Junior or Mitfahrkarte cannot be shared digitally either: because SwissPass accounts behind the physical cards cannot (yet) be linked. Either the child has a mobile phone with the appropriate public transport app, or the parents or grandparents create several SwissPass accounts and log in and out during a check to show all Junior cards.
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