Customers and politicians alike expect quality from SBB. This means attractive, good-value and environmentally friendly mobility solutions. Furthermore, our services should be welcoming, safe, clean and on-time. These targets are becoming more and more difficult to reach because of increasing customer numbers. SBB carries out regular surveys to check that it is meeting customer expectations. These customers include not only users of our passenger and freight services but also the cantons.
Both in Switzerland and abroad, SBB is a byword for punctuality, reliability and comfort. Our good image is an important success factor for the Group. SBB requires the esteem of customers, the electorate, politicians and cantons in order to keep running cost-efficiently and to successfully master the challenges it faces.
Satisfied, motivated staff define the quality of a service or a product and are a prerequisite for satisfied customers. For a service provider such as SBB, satisfied employees are the key to success.
Punctuality is a sign of quality. Even more than that, it is a central quality feature of rail transport. What are spotlessly clean coaches and perfect loudspeaker announcements worth if customers miss an appointment as a result of a delay to a connecting train? Nothing. Customers simply expect punctuality from SBB. For two years, SBB has been measuring punctuality precisely as customers experience it. The company also takes into account how many passengers are on a given train, as well as how many are affected by missed connections resulting from delays.
Taking people and goods safely to their destinations – that is a core quality factor at SBB. This is what the federal government, SBB’s owner, expects. But safety is also one of the top priorities we have set ourselves. Our customers and employees alike should be able to trust SBB. Our annual safety figures take into account all accidents at work, shunting accidents and other accidents involving trains across all divisions.
The rail system is expensive. Infrastructure maintenance and expansion, extending stations, modernising rolling stock, paying staff and improving safety and quality – these are the biggest expense items facing SBB. These costs are set against our revenues, which come mostly from passenger services and real estate, along with federal government contributions.
Free Cash Flow
In simple terms, the free cash flow is the sum remaining from revenues after SBB has financed the operational business and its capital expenditure. The sum is an indication of whether a company can fund its investments independently. A negative free cash flow means that at the end of the year, there is no money left in the company’s coffers to finance capital expenditure from its own resources. This means that the company has to borrow money, and therefore increases its debt.
Competitive edge/market share
How attractive are SBB’s services compared with the competition? Is the price-performance ratio correct? SBB measures its competitive edge in four areas: national and international passenger services, freight services and rental income from real estate. The goal is to strengthen the market share, but growth should always be intelligently structured in economic terms. In international passenger services, for example, this could take the form of cooperation with Deutsche Bahn and SNCF, while SBB Cargo is focusing on a terminal strategy for intermodal transport.
People who travel by rail travel punctually and safely, and go easy on the environment. Train passengers use around four times less energy than their counterparts in a car, and cause 20 times fewer CO2 emissions. With the same amount of energy as 20 years ago, SBB today carries around one-third more freight and passengers using an environmentally friendly energy mix. In addition, the company has reduced the noise produced by its fleet in recent years, as well as eliminating legacy pollution and operating low-emission diesel locomotives.