Transport Landscape 2050: Assumptions

The Transport Outlook 2050 predicts what the transport landscape could look like in the next 30 years, taking into account the important social and economic trends. Important assumptions in the areas illustrated below are explained with a focus on the Basis scenario.

Population and economy

Underlying all scenarios is the assumption that by 2050 the population will have grown by 1.8 million to 10.44 million, and that GDP will increase by over 50 per cent between 2017 and 2050. Population trends for each canton and demographic ageing are based on Swiss Federal Statistical Office scenarios. The economic development of individual sectors is based on the federal government's economic scenarios. These form the basis for calculating the quantities of goods that will be transported in the future.

Working from home

The coronavirus pandemic has significantly increased the trend towards working from home. Even if the number of people working from home declines again after the pandemic, it will remain a permanent feature for many people. All scenarios therefore envisage that fewer people will commute on a daily basis.


Many purchases are already made online. Since online shopping will continue to increase, all scenarios assume that there will be more home deliveries and fewer shopping trips.

New forms of mobility

The Transport Outlook assumes that automated vehicles will by a major feature on the roads in the future. The share of automated passenger vehicles is expected to increase rapidly from 2040 onwards, possibly reaching 32 per cent by 2050 in the Basis scenario.


In the Basis, Individualised Society (InS) and Business-as-Usual (BAU) scenarios, the Transport Outlook 2050 assumes that almost half of all cars will be electrically powered. In the Sustainable Society scenario, this figure is as high as 80 per cent of all passenger vehicles.

Developments in road infrastructure

The Transport Outlook is based on the assumption that the expansion and new construction of national highways and access roads already planned up to 2040 will take place. All scenarios are based on the same assumptions about the status of road infrastructure at the various time horizons in the Transport Outlook.

Public transport offer

 In public transport, the planned changes to the rail network and timetables up to 2035 provide a basis for all scenarios. Assumptions about individual projects from the agglomeration programmes, for example tram network extensions, are also taken into account. All scenarios are based on the same assumptions about the state of public transport provision within the different time horizons considered.

Availability of season tickets and cars

Public transport season tickets, such as the GA Travelcard, the Half-Fare Travelcard and season tickets for local transport networks will become more popular in the Basis scenario. As a result, public transport users will incur lower mobility costs on average. A further assumption is that households will own slightly fewer cars in 2050 than they do today. This can be assumed as more people will live in urban areas that are well served by public transport. The availability of cars and public transport season tickets directly influences people's choice of means of transport.

Passenger and freight transport costs

The Transport Outlook determines the cost per kilometre of using public transport or a private car based on the availability of cars and season tickets. This assumes that the cost of private car use will rise more sharply than that of using public transport in the Basis scenario. The projected cost development is based on assumptions about how vehicle fleets, propulsion systems and consumption will change. A further consideration is whether users have to pay for external costs such as noise, accidents and pollution. Assumptions are also made about cost development in freight transport; transport by road will become somewhat more expensive than by rail in the Basis scenario, mainly because the heavy goods vehicle charge (HGVC) will increase.


Transport Landscape 2050: Assumptions

Assumptions about developments in population, the economy and spatial structures and in political, technological and social developments affecting transport.

Scenarios and methodology

Description of the four different scenarios and how their underlying assumptions, described in the previous chapter, vary depending on the scenario.

Developments in passenger transport

Results for the development of passenger transport in different scenarios and with varying time horizons.

Developments in freight transport

Results for the development of freight transport in different scenarios and with varying time horizons.