General Terms and Conditions (GTC) governing use of the BLS AG ticketing function (for ticket purchases) via the website www.search.ch and the app search.ch (hereinafter referred to as search.ch).
The BLS ticketing function can be used to purchase tickets on search.ch. Prepaid tickets are available for the Swiss transportation authority Direkter Verkehr Schweiz (DV) and the majority of Swiss fare networks (Tarifverbunde). Postpaid tickets are available for DV and the various Swiss fare networks.
The (prepaid and postpaid) ticketing function is a sales support solution that is provided by BLS AG and integrated on search.ch. Swisscom Directories is the provider of search.ch. The contract governing the purchase of an (electronic) ticket via the BLS ticketing function on search.ch is made between the passenger (hereinafter referred to as the customer or user) and the respective transport company providing the specific transport service (transport contract).
The ticketing function supports the purchase of electronic tickets (prepaid tickets). Once an electronic ticket (prepaid ticket) has been purchased, it is available on the user’s mobile phone for inspection by the ticket inspector.
The mobile phone ticketing function also includes the option of automatically recording the journey so that it can be billed afterwards (postpaid tickets). Before starting their journey, users check in at the place of departure (check-in). It is at this point that the users conclude their transportation contract with the transport company providing the service. After the end of the journey, check-out takes place, initiated either by the user (check-out) or – if the user fails to check out – by the system itself. During the journey, BLS AG uses the mobile phone’s built-in location services (Wi-Fi, GPS etc.) to identify the route travelled, which serves as the basis for the fare calculation.
Following check-out, the function displays the provisional fare in line with the applicable fare regulations for the route travelled. At the end of the business day, the cheapest price (“best possible price”) for the routes travelled – in line with the product range under consideration – is definitively calculated and billed.
For ticket inspection purposes, the function generates an electronic inspection element (travel entitlement) on the user’s mobile phone, which can be checked by the ticket inspector. If the user fails to check out on completion of his or her journey, the system will check out the user automatically at the end of the business day so that the journeys undertaken can be billed for the day concerned.
In order to purchase an electronic prepaid or postpaid ticket, the user must register on search.ch. When a ticket is purchased, the user's first and last name, date of birth and discount categories are transferred to BLS AG to process the purchase.
The user must use a valid payment method (see 10) to purchase prepaid or postpaid tickets with the BLS ticketing function on search.ch. The user has the option of entering their payment details for a one-off payment or saving them for future payments. The payment details will be stored only by BLS AG’s payment service provider; neither Swisscom Directories AG nor BLS AG will store this information.
The user is responsible for ensuring that their mobile telephone is protected against third-party access and remains functional throughout the entire journey following the purchase of a prepaid ticket using the BLS ticketing function or the search.ch app. In order to use the postpaid ticketing function on the search.ch app, the user must ensure that their mobile telephone remains functional at check-in and check-out, and throughout the entire journey (including: device type/operating system, functioning SIM card, activated location services between check-in and check-out, sufficient battery). The BLS ticketing function on the search.ch app uses data transmitted via a mobile service provider. The user therefore requires a valid mobile phone contract with a mobile service provider as well as an active, functioning SIM card.
The mobile phone’s location services do not have to be activated for the purchase of prepaid tickets. To use the postpaid ticketing function, however, active location services are required. To calculate the fare in line with applicable fare regulations, the location of the mobile phone is determined periodically between check-in and check-out using the mobile phone’s location services. By the start of the journey at the latest, the user will need to have activated location services in his or her mobile phone settings. Between check-in and check-out, the user must keep his or her mobile phone switched on and in a functional state for use of the app. In particular, users must not restrict the mobile phone’s transmission-readiness in respect of mobile data usage and its location services as otherwise they will not be in possession of a valid postpaid ticket.
Location services are subject to the valid GTC of the respective operator, e.g. Apple Inc, Cupertino, California, USA.
The following payment methods are accepted:
BLS AG reserves the right to change the list of accepted payment methods. The user must ensure that the selected payment method has a sufficient limit to cover their purchases, and that the payment method is not blocked.
The payment will be taken at the time of the ticket purchase using the payment method stored in the ticketing function.
Every day at the end of the business day, the fare calculated by the BLS ticketing function for the user’s journeys is automatically charged to the user's stored payment method. If payment cannot be collected (for example, because of a blocked credit card), the ticketing function will be blocked for the user (check-in not possible).
BLS AG retains all copyrights and intellectual property rights to the BLS ticketing function. BLS AG has granted search.ch a non-exclusive, Europe-wide usage right to the BLS ticketing function for sub-licensing to its customers for the intended purpose. The BLS ticketing function may not be copied, nor may additional sublicences be granted or any other rights pertaining to the BLS ticketing function to third parties in any other form. Neither the content of the BLS ticketing function nor any related material which forms a component or element of the content may be modified, altered, adapted, deconstructed, reverse engineered (determination of the source code), corrected or publicised. There is no entitlement to use the BLS ticketing function.
BLS AG may ask search.ch at any time to terminate the licence agreement between search.ch and the user at any time. BLS AG has the right to remove the BLS ticketing function from the market at any time. BLS AG also reserves the right to block individual users from using the ticketing function in justified instances (e.g. in the event of misuse).
BLS AG reserves the right to alter the information contained in the BLS ticketing function on search.ch at any time. It is the express responsibility of the user to ensure that their mobile telephone is protected against unauthorised access. Any liability on the part of Swisscom Directories AG and BLS AG relating to the content, functionality and use of the ticketing function, including liability for malware, is excluded to the extent permitted by law. If the ticketing function or parts thereof become fully or partially non-functional due to technical reasons, and purchasing an (electronic) ticket is therefore not possible, BLS AG and Swisscom Directories AG accept no liability for any resulting damages.
BLS AG adheres to the European and Swiss data protection laws when handling personal data; in particular, please also see Clause 9 (directive on the handling of personal and customer data) in the General Passenger Tariff T600 of the Swiss public transport companies.
BLS AG records and processes such (personal and travel) data only to the extent required for the purchase of electronic tickets using the ticketing function on search.ch. Where required for the operation of the ticketing function, data will be shared with the payment method providers (billing amounts only). No data will be shared with additional third-party companies. BLS AG and its service providers use appropriate security systems to protect the data against foreseeable risks. Furthermore, anonymous personal and travel data as well as statistical data (e.g. sales, number of journeys undertaken) are used for the purposes of further developing and improving the ticketing function of BLS AG. For public transport billing purposes, the electronic tickets purchased with the ticketing function are registered with BLS AG. To help us optimise the ticketing function, anonymous tracking data will be collected during use and passed on to a third-party service provider. Also, anonymous crash data regarding technical faults will be collected and passed on to a third-party service provider for the purposes of technical improvement of the ticketing function. Upon the purchase of a ticket, the user agrees to this data processing by BLS AG.
The user can give marketing permission at the time of registration. Upon giving this permission, the user may receive advertising material from BLS AG in the form of newsletters, special offers and information from BLS AG on the basis of his registration data (first and last name, mobile number and e-mail address). The user can withdraw this permission at any time. After any such opt-out, personal data will no longer be processed for marketing purposes and the user will no longer be contacted with marketing information.
Before the first ticket can be purchased, the user must create a customer account (see 5 Registration). For this, the user is required to enter their last name, first name, date of birth, payment method and e-mail address. When purchasing a postpaid ticket, mobile phone number-based authentication is also required. Once a customer has entered their mobile phone number, they receive a text message with a registration code that must be entered on the form in question. The data is stored by search.ch and BLS AG for the purposes of customer support, billing and subsequent monitoring, as well as for obtaining the customer’s permission to receive marketing information. The user can demand the deletion of their personal data if they no longer wish to use the ticketing function to purchase tickets.
Travel data consists of route and fare information that is identified by BLS AG on the basis of completed check-in and check-out information (stop number, time, device ID number), the location data collected during the journey using the mobile phone’s location services (based on Wi-Fi, GPS etc.), and the travel options (timetable). The travel data is used to calculate the journey completed using the postpaid ticketing function (route search; zone calculation) and the fare, for support in the event of a user complaint and for the subsequent investigation and prevention of instances of misuse. Thanks to the travel data, the user can also be shown potential areas for savings based on his or her travel behaviour.
The travel data are stored by BLS AG and, after one year, will either be deleted or used, in anonymised form only, for gaining knowledge in relation to route finding and route determination.
The following tickets can be purchased using the ticketing function in accordance with the respectively valid tariffs (19.1.1 below):
The purchase of tickets at group rates is not possible.
The ticket price is based on the tariffs for DV tickets or those of the fare networks, and on the choice between first and second-class tickets, with or without the half-fare travelcard.
The ticketing function informs the user of the price before a prepaid ticket is purchased.
The following postpaid tickets can be purchased using the ticketing function based on the currently valid fare prices of Direkter Verkehr Schweiz (DV) and the Swiss fare networks:
When using the BLS AG postpaid ticketing function, ticket purchase and validation no longer take place in the traditional sense. Immediately prior to starting a journey, the user uses the search.ch app or the ticketing function to perform a check-in at the stop and, immediately after the journey, uses it to complete a check-out at the stop. BLS AG will recognise the stop based on the location data. If, for technical reasons, a different stop is shown than the one actually being used, the user can correct this by selecting the correct stop from the picklist.
A successfully completed check-in will be shown on the mobile phone display with an indication of the starting stop, date and time. This display shows that the user is entitled to commence his or her journey. For inspection purposes, a corresponding inspection element (travel entitlement) will be available.
A successfully completed check-out will be shown on the mobile phone display with an indication of the end stop, date and time. If the user fails to check out, a system check-out will be performed at the end of the business day. In this case, the stops recorded by BLS AG will be used to calculate the fare. No reimbursement can be paid for any higher fare that may be incurred as a result of this. The maximum fare (1st or 2nd class) for half-fare travelcard holders will be no higher than the price of one day ticket per day. For users without a half-fare travelcard, there is no set maximum fare per day (for DV products)
If a check-in or check-out cannot be performed for technical reasons, the user should contact BLS AG customer service by telephone or using the contact form. Any lack of functionality in respect of the search.ch app does not, however, entitle the user to start a journey without a valid ticket.
The user of the postpaid ticketing function is required to verify whether his or her journey (check-in and check-out stops) was recorded accurately, and to correct any inaccurately recorded check-in stops prior to starting the journey or any incorrectly recorded check-out stops during the journey. BLS AG reserves the right to verify a user’s manually corrected journey and to exclude that user from using the app if there is a suspicion of misuse.
A direct change is understood to mean use of the next possible public transport connection. For direct changes within the area of validity, check-in and check-out are not necessarily required. If the break of journey is not for the purpose of changing services, then the user must check out and then check in again when they continue their journey.
The postpaid ticketing function can only be used for the user’s own journeys. The user cannot therefore use the postpaid ticketing function to purchase tickets for fellow passengers, dogs or bikes, to transfer tickets or to forward them to another mobile telephone. The (electronic) ticket is valid from the time of check-in up to and including the time of check-out.
The (electronic) ticket and the effective fare for a journey undertaken using the BLS postpaid ticketing function are identified on the basis of the check-in and check-out, the travel data collected, and the fare regulations for the product range concerned.
After each journey, the fare calculated is shown on the mobile phone display and, at the end of the BLS AG business day, is billed to the payment method provider, with the provider charging the user directly. If more than one journey is undertaken per day, the fare calculated for each journey plus the total fare will be shown on the mobile phone display.
Unless otherwise specified in these GTC, the following fares apply to the calculation of (electronic) tickets as per the currently valid version of the price list, including the tariff regulations and other regulations listed therein:
The relevant fare information can be viewed both at manned ticket offices in the network areas of the transport companies involved, as well as online at www.ch-direct.org or the websites of the particular transport companies and fare networks.
For any journeys across more than one network undertaken by users with a half-fare travelcard, the postpaid ticketing function automatically charges the day ticket fare (1st or 2nd class) if the price of the day ticket is lower than the total of all single journeys within the area of validity.
If journeys are only made within one network on a particular day, a day ticket for that network is calculated automatically if the price of the day ticket is lower than the total of all single journeys (with and without a half-fare travelcard).
Fares are calculated at 04:59 hours (billing period: 05:00 to 04:59 hours of the following day).
The user must purchase a single ticket before boarding (prepaid ticket) or check in before boarding (post-paid ticket). Tickets purchased after boarding are invalid. Before boarding, you must have completed the entire purchase or check-in procedure. This is considered as being completed as soon as the single ticket is available in the search.ch app on the mobile phone. The user must make sure that they have the ticket to hand and that their mobile phone is operational prior to boarding.
The purchased prepaid ticket is valid for the day defined as the date of travel at the time of purchase. When purchasing fare network tickets, the additional time restrictions of the specific tariffs must be observed (e.g. a validity of 30 or 60 minutes). Once purchased, tickets cannot be amended or exchanged. The earliest period during which tickets can be purchased with the ticketing function is 30 days before travel; shorter advance purchase periods may apply for fare network tickets.
Postpaid tickets purchased using the check-in facility are valid for the entire journey; that is, from check-in to check-out.
If requested by the ticket inspector, the user must launch the search.ch app and select the menu item to display the ticket for the purpose of inspection. Any half-fare and/or fare network travelcard or SwissPass must be shown together with the mobile phone. The user must show the ticket inspector the data displayed on the mobile telephone for inspection purposes. If prompted, the user must hand over their mobile telephone to the ticket inspector so they can check the ticket’s inspection elements and display levels. The ticket inspectors are authorised to operate the mobile telephone in order to carry out an appropriate inspection. As part of the ticket inspection and upon being prompted, the user may be obligated to prove their identity by providing a form of official photo ID.
Passengers will be deemed to be travelling with a partially valid ticket if they can produce a ticket which is valid yet insufficient in one of the following ways:
Passengers with a partially valid ticket must pay the reduced surcharge and the reduced fare flat-rate in accordance with the regulations governing the respectively applicable tariff (of the fare networks or the Swiss transport companies; see 19.1 above).
If the user is unable to display the inspection element on the search.ch app or if the inspection element cannot be checked due to the mobile phone not being up to date or functional (no existing mobile phone contract, no functioning SIM card, no battery etc.), or due to an illegible display, the user will be treated as a passenger without a valid ticket. The treatment of passengers without a valid ticket is regulated under the respectively applicable tariff of the fare network or the Swiss transport companies (tariff 600.5). The latter tariff also applies in the event that no separate regulation is in place at the fare network level.
In the event of misuse or forgery, the regulations of the respectively applicable tariffs (of the fare network or the Swiss transport companies; see 19.1.1 above) apply. In such instances, BLS AG also reserves the right to block the offending user from using the ticketing function.
Complaints about incorrect fare calculations by BLS AG with regard to postpaid tickets can be reported by the user to customer service (see 22) within 12 months of the date of travel. The difference will be refunded in cases where, through no fault of the user, the fare was not calculated correctly and the user was charged.
BLS AG reserves the right to alter the information contained in the BLS ticketing function at any time. BLS AG can alter these GTC at any time. The fare networks and the Swiss transport companies can alter the conditions of carriage and the tariffs at any time. Changes to these GTC become valid when accepted by the user following an update of search.ch or in any other form (for example, when purchasing a ticket). If the user does not accept the GTC, they will no longer be able to use the ticketing function. Changes to the conditions of carriage and the tariffs will become valid without the user’s consent.
In the absence of other legal provisions to the contrary, the relationship between BLS AG and the user is exclusively subject to Swiss law. The sole place of jurisdiction, performance and enforcement – the latter only for people resident abroad – is Bern, unless otherwise provided by mandatory standards.
For questions, technical issues or support relating to the use of the ticketing function on SEARCH.CH, the user can contact the following address:
Tel. 058 327 31 32 (7 am-7 pm daily)