PostBus Switzerland (known as PostAuto Schweiz in Swiss Standard German, CarPostal Suisse in Swiss French, AutoPostale Svizzera in Swiss Italian, and AutoDaPosta Svizra in Romansh) is a subsidiary company of the Swiss Post, which provides regional and rural bus services throughout Switzerland, and also in France, Germany, and Liechtenstein.
The Swiss PostBus service evolved as a motorized successor to the stagecoaches that previously carried passengers and mail in Switzerland, with the Swiss postal service providing postbus services carrying both passengers and mail. Although this combination had been self-evident in the past, the needs of each diverged towards the end of the twentieth century, when the conveyance of parcels was progressively separated from public transportation. This split became official with the conversion of PostBus into a separate subsidiary of the Swiss Post in February 2005.
The buses operated by PostBus are a Swiss icon, with a distinctive yellow livery and three-tone horn. The company uses an image of a posthorn as a logo on its buses and elsewhere. On some mountain roads, indicated by a traffic sign of a yellow posthorn on a blue background, the public transport, in particular the postal buses, have priority over other traffic and traffic users must follow instructions by public transport drivers.
- 1849: Creation of the postal network diligence.
- 1906: First service of PostBus between Bern and Detligen.
- 1919: Inauguration of the line crossing the Simplon Pass.
- 1921: Grimsel Pass, Furka Pass, San Bernardino Pass, and Oberalp Pass are open to traffic.
- 1923: A three-tone horn is installed on the buses travelling on mountain routes.
- 1949: The bus lines of the Principality of Liechtenstein are operated by PostBus.
- 1959: All buses are of the same yellow color.
- 1961: Last service of horse diligence on the line Avers-Juf.
- 2003: For the first time, PostBus carries more than 100 million passengers.
- 2005: PostBus Switzerland established as a subsidiary company of Swiss Post
- 2006: PostBus celebrates its centenary.
- 2011: PostBus launches free WiFi in Postbuses and becomes the first Swiss public transport operator to add fuel cell buses to its fleet.
Services are provided by PostBus Switzerland, a subsidiary company of Swiss Post with its headquarters in Bern. The company is responsible for 869 bus routes with 2,193 buses in Switzerland, transporting over 140 million passengers annually on its 11,869 km (7,375 mi) long network. The routes are either operated directly by PostBus itself, or by local bus companies under contract.
PostBus offers extensive services in public, public-private, and private transit, including:
- PostAuto: Bus lines (municipal, regional, long-distance, and vacation transportation)
- PubliCar: Dial-a-bus service for lightly traveled routes
- ScolaCar: Small buses for student transportation
- PostCar: Tourist travel (chartered)
CarPostale France, a subsidiary of PostBus Switzerland, operates bus services in France. The company is headquartered in Lyon, with operations from Haguenau, in Alsace, to Béziers, in Languedoc-Roussillon.
The German villages of Büsingen am Hochrhein (an exclave of Germany entirely surrounded by Swiss territory) and Randegg are also served via a connection with the Swiss towns of Schaffhausen and Ramsen. The German town Singen benefits from a connection to Switzerland via a PostBus service to and from Ramsen.
In June 2018, members of the Executive Board of PostBus were dismissed by Swiss Post after PostBus was accused of "manipulating its accounting and systematically concealing profits in order to collect excess subsidies."