Cargotram, Zurich

Project information

Index: 0154R1
Priority:2: Environment and risk prevention
Sub Theme:Energy and sustainable transport
Location SWITZERLAND Zurich Start/End date of the practice
Start: 2003-01-01

Topic of the practice

urban freight policies

Good Practice Information

Use of a tramway to collect goods such as bulky waste and electrical and electronic equipment. Throughout the city, and to forward them up to the waste collection centre located in the suburbs. Public stakeholders (the municipality and the public transport operator) had a major role in this project. The ERZ (Entsorgung und Recycling Zürich), the city waste management company provided the manpower. The municipality allowed the operation, authorizing tram cars dedicated to goods on the tram network, so far exclusively dedicated to passenger traffic. A concession of 10 years was signed. This service, set up in '03 and free of charge, is dedicated to Zürich residents which move on foot, on bicycle or with public transportation. Once a month, residents have the possibility to bring bulky waste or worn electric and electronic devices (since '06) to any of the 10 collection stations implemented for that purpose. On location, agents commissioned by ERZ receive waste. On average, 6/7 tons of bulky waste and more
than a ton of electric and electronic devices are dumped in each station and at each collection. After 4 hours, the tram restarts towards one of the two Zürich waste disposal centers. The waste is unloaded, sorted out there then recycled. Resources: Initial costs for the transportation company VBZ and ERZ are €35,000. To be added the construction/renovation of the garage tracks, a new recycling centre with tram sidings was built permitting an efficient loading/unl. of the Cargo Tram,new containers are provided with a press for bulky goods. The employees of ERZ are in charge of sorting the waste. Critical success factors: Needs to be identified, investments must be minimized, three main players (operator,municipality,waste manag. admin.) involved. Transfer: A preliminary tramway network must already exist, not saturated so that goods trains can circulate without hampering the passenger train traffic.The existing network must be dense enough and connect the center with the suburbs to limit the costs of infrastructure.

Evidence of success

380 t of bulky wastes were collected during the first year of operation (twice the tonnage of uncontrolled waste left on the pavements of the city before the implementation of the Cargo-Tram). In 2004, 785 t of garbage were collected at 8 stops in 94 collecting rides from which 644 t were bulky goods and 141 t were metal.This represents approximately €3,200 per ride including operative and back-office costs (information to the population, logistics, etc.).
Cargo-Tram of Zürich offers a new service to the residents, representing a valuable addition to the concept of a better quality of life without automobile.

Contact details to obtain further information on the practice

Erica Bichsel

Municipality of Zurich

Annex completed on: 03-09-2011

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