Basel to increase trams to Germany as Swiss shoppers seek bargains

Fri Jan 16, 2015 10:17am EST
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ZURICH (Reuters) - Basel is to lay on extra trams on Saturday to cope with high numbers of Swiss shoppers expected to travel to Germany to profit from the strong Swiss franc.

Switzerland's central bank shocked financial markets on Thursday by scrapping a three-year-old cap on the franc and sending the currency soaring against the euro.

With bargains to be had, the transport authority for the Swiss border city of Basel is anticipating a repeat of the Christmas rush as shoppers head into Germany.

"Based on the experience that we had with this new line over Christmas time and Advent season where there was very strong demand into Germany, we expect that there will be similar strong demand tomorrow," a spokeswoman for the transport authority said.

The authority is adding three trams to part of its service into Germany between 1330 GMT (0830 ET) and 1700 GMT on Saturday.

A spokeswoman for the transport authority in Geneva, which is near the French border, said it was monitoring the situation but currently had no plans to increase its services.

(Reporting by Joshua Franklin; editing by Andrew Roche)

A file picture shows a car with a Swiss flag parked in front of a supermarket in the southern German town of Tiengen near the border with Switzerland July 15, 2010.  REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann