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Old 26.03.2015, 21:31
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SBB Ticket Checks for Minors

Hello EF knowledge

A couple of days ago my daughter was stopped during a ticket check. The ticket controller was quite nasty because my daughter who is only 14 years old, had a valid 1/2 price ticket, but did not have an ID.

Does anyone know what are the rules and regulations for ticket controllers and minors, how much power do they actually have ? What information can they legally ask for from a child ?

As her father, any intimidation from a ticket collector would make me very upset with SBB.

Any thoughts, please let us know.
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Old 26.03.2015, 21:37
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Re: SBB Ticket Checks for Minors

They are entitled to ask for ID regardless of age. How would the ticket collector know someone is only 14 and there could be a good chance that someone says that as a perfect scam to avoid paying the correct amount.

The ticket collector was entitled and required to request proof of age, your daughter shood be carrying it
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Old 26.03.2015, 22:05
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Re: SBB Ticket Checks for Minors

It happened to our son a couple of years ago when he was 12. He is very tall for his age and the ticket inspector didn't believe he was under 16.
Fortunately I had put his health insurance card ( no photo but DOB)and a photocopy of his permit in his wallet in case of emergencies as he was going to stay with friends.

As it happens he also has his bus pass in there all the time and that has photo and DOB on it so he would have been fine without that.

The inspector is well within his rights to ask for ID and it's a good idea for minors to carry ID in any case.
If there was an accident or she fell ill it makes it easier and faster to contact the parents or other close family/friends etc.

Last edited by Belgianmum; 26.03.2015 at 22:31.
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Old 26.03.2015, 22:29
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Re: SBB Ticket Checks for Minors

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The inspector is well within his rights to ask for ID and it's a good idea for minors to carry ID in any case.
.
Does any one know what types of ID are deemed valid by SBB?


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If there was an accident or she fell ill it makes it easier and faster to contact the parents or other close family/friends etc.
That's a good idea. I made some* small laminated cards with the relevant details.

*Some because they get lost and need replacing.
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Old 27.03.2015, 03:15
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Re: SBB Ticket Checks for Minors

My 12+ yr old son has a copy of his permit (w/photo) in the same case as his transport pass - I don't think he has ever been asked to prove his age, he is a hobbit

Our daughter, on the other hand, seems to be the inspector magnet. On her "first" visit to CH (it wasn't really first, but before we were actually living here) she was very nearly 13 and on her way from where we live to meet OH for lunch. She had a multistamp (24-hr validity) ticket which she validated at point of origin, and validated AGAIN when she changed to connecting S-Bahn (being used to a public transport system where ticket gets scanned at each entry/exit). What she didn't notice probably being more focused on whether she was actually on the correct train, and we hadn't thought to point out, was that the S-Bahn coaches are rather subtly divided into 1st/2nd class and she had sat down in a first class section. The inspector nabbed her and demanded ID etc. which she didn't have.

OH wrote to SBB and tried to explain the situation, including the ticket stamped two times, in effect equivalent of a full-fare or first class for a reduced fare passenger. They backed down on the 75sfr fine they issued and settled for 34.50sfr, citing it was the principle of the matter not to remove the fine completely...

She carries ID with her now, but really despises CH (except for skiing which she adores, and marsipan bars covered with dark chocolate from Sprungli). To the OP, I can imagine the inspector was within acceptable limits of authority, but having watched from a distance they can have a rather unpleasant overly authoritative tone when they get the opportunity to do the police/teacher thing, more so to someone who doesn't necessarily communicate in local language.

Our daughter feels like there is always someone lurking to catch her doing something in a way they don't approve, and drives us MAD by infrequently (but often enough) validating her ticket too many times. She said recently that our getting upset at the extra cost was still less bad than being intimidated by a ticket inspector
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Old 27.03.2015, 05:41
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Re: SBB Ticket Checks for Minors

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Does any one know what types of ID are deemed valid by SBB?

Driver's license, surely,
half-fare card (as SBB are the ones issuing them),
Swiss ID card for Swiss kids and adults,
permit or passport for non-Swiss kids and adults who don't have a driver's license.

Probably any legal ID which contains photo and DOB.

https://www.stadt-zuerich.ch/content...rolle_2011.pdf
https://www.sbb.ch/infos/konditionen.html
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Old 27.03.2015, 07:44
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Re: SBB Ticket Checks for Minors

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Does any one know what types of ID are deemed valid by SBB?...
]My kids used to have a credit card size id card from BLT , for free, that contained their photo and d.o.b. We just went to the BLT kiosk with the kids' passports, permits and a photo of each.

Perhaps SBB have such a thing.

Swiss kids will normally use their school id card.
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Old 27.03.2015, 09:51
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Re: SBB Ticket Checks for Minors

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]My kids used to have a credit card size id card from BLT , for free, that contained their photo and d.o.b. We just went to the BLT kiosk with the kids' passports, permits and a photo of each.

Perhaps SBB have such a thing.

Swiss kids will normally use their school id card.
Thanks. I'll enquire. I'd rather he take something like that than risk losing his ID card which presently he's using as I.D. in lieu of a passport when we visit the UK.
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Old 27.03.2015, 15:38
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Re: SBB Ticket Checks for Minors

While it makes sense for a minor (especially when not too fluent with the local language) to have, say, a photo copy of his ID with him, I'm surprised (and bit disappointed) by the replies to OPs original question.

Only police (including SBB police, who however in ordinary situations only have authoritiy on SBB ground, i.e. trains and stations) have the legal power to demand ID, or to search you, or to arrest you. Everybody else may only report you to the police and, if necessary and warranted, hold you until they've arrived. Proof of being police is the uniform, or police id in case they operate "in zivil" (not wearing uniform).

Ordinary SBB personnel (includes the typical ticket controller), employees of private "security" companies such as Securitas, magazine detectives, concert and football security, club bouncers, etc. are people like you and me with no special authority and part of "everbody else" mentioned above. Where applicable, they're allowed to keep you out if you want access to private property (club, stadium, etc), though that has nothing to do with police powers.

A 1/2 tax abo has a photo of the holder and, together with a valid ticket, is proof positive that a given person has paid for the ride and thus has the right(!) to be on the train, to be transported at the time of her chosing. If that's not good enough it's up to SBB to remedy the problem, but certainly not up to any minor who happens to be on any given train.

In my book, and assuming there was no particular issue (picture quality OK, photo reasonably recent, she not overstepping, etc), the SBB controller probably overstepped. Should you decide to complain you may want to make sure the person indeed wasn't SBB police (e.g. phrase complaint accordingly, SBB will know what personnel was on that particular train).

Edit:
Legally people (at least swiss, I think also applies to foreigners but wouldn't bet the farm on the latter) are not required to carry ID. However, police may detain them and take them to the police station to clarify their ID.
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Old 27.03.2015, 17:12
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Re: SBB Ticket Checks for Minors

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A 1/2 tax abo has a photo of the holder and, together with a valid ticket, is proof positive that a given person has paid for the ride and thus has the right(!) to be on the train, to be transported at the time of her chosing. If that's not good enough it's up to SBB to remedy the problem, but certainly not up to any minor who happens to be on any given train.
But a minor ( under 16) doesn't need a 1/2 tax abo to travel half price on the trains so they don't have that as proof of age.

I don't think it's unreasonable to ask for proof of age from a teenager ( younger kids shouldn't have any problems)especially if they're tall for their age and/or look older than they are if they're travelling alone by train. What is not acceptable is if they are threatening or intimidating in any way.
If they have reasonable doubt I guess they have to haul them off the train at the next stop and call the police which in my eyes is way more frightening and unpleasant so it's earlier to just gave some ID in the first place.
A laminated colour copy of their ID card ( if you don't want them to risk losing the original) is what I would use.
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Old 28.03.2015, 13:18
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Re: SBB Ticket Checks for Minors

being asked an ID for check purpose may be lived as an intimidating experience indipendent of the controller behaviour, but if you have everything in check it is not a problem at all, bad experiences often involve a mistake by the user and a supposed lack of understanding from the controller but he doesn't know your life story he just has to enforce the rules. Also how one looks should not apply, that's profiling and is subjective, some people could (and do) take advantage of that.
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Old 28.03.2015, 15:33
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Re: SBB Ticket Checks for Minors

Well look at it from the SBB's perspective. They sell tickets for under 16s, it's not unreasonable for them to have some way of ensuring that the user of the ticket is under 16.
From my experience they will accept pretty much any kind of documentation that confirms the age of user.
If that poses a problem then don't buy reduced price tickets. By the way you're going to have the same issue if you buy online tickets with SBB, they're nominative so you need to identify yourself to ticket inspectors.
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Old 28.03.2015, 15:52
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Re: SBB Ticket Checks for Minors

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Well look at it from the SBB's perspective. They sell tickets for under 16s, it's not unreasonable for them to have some way of ensuring that the user of the ticket is under 16.
From my experience they will accept pretty much any kind of documentation that confirms the age of user.
If that poses a problem then don't buy reduced price tickets. By the way you're going to have the same issue if you buy online tickets with SBB, they're nominative so you need to identify yourself to ticket inspectors.
I do not think anyone is debating whether or not it is unreasonable to ask for ID with proof of age, OP asked what is considered a valid form in the eyes of ticket inspectors as well as queried the extent of their authority.

Maybe the ticket inspectors in other parts of CH are less intimidating and adjust their tone according to the apparent age of the passenger, but at least here in ZH they coukd seem intimidating. I do not know too many "16s and under" that do not quake a bit when confronted by authority (be that SBB or a school teacher eg) even when they know they are not at fault for anything.

Do "obedient" citizens obey laws because they feel an inner responsibility to be trustworthy, or because they are just scared of the consequences?
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Old 28.03.2015, 19:29
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Re: SBB Ticket Checks for Minors

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.... queried the extent of their authority.
Pretty much infinite, as far as 'controlling' goess.

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..... they coukd seem intimidating. I do not know too many "16s and under" that do not quake a bit when confronted by authority (be that SBB or a school teacher eg) even when they know they are not at fault for anything..
Intimidating so they can check for the 'shakes'? The genuine fraudsters probably remain calm - and subsequently get hauled off tto police etc..

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Do "obedient" citizens obey laws because they feel an inner responsibility to be trustworthy, or because they are just scared of the consequences?
Need a whole new forum for that one
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Old 28.03.2015, 21:40
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Re: SBB Ticket Checks for Minors

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Do "obedient" citizens obey laws because they feel an inner responsibility to be trustworthy, or because they are just scared of the consequences?
I really think it's the former in most cases here.

People like the way things work and are happy to pay for them.
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Old 28.03.2015, 21:52
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Re: SBB Ticket Checks for Minors

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Only police (including SBB police, who however in ordinary situations only have authoritiy on SBB ground, i.e. trains and stations) have the legal power to demand ID
What

Maybe only the Police can force you to show ID. But many places ask for ID, either to buy age related products (alcohol, cigarettes, child or senior tickets)… or to verify your identity (airlines, hotels). If you don't prove your identity, you can't expect to be sold alcohol, cigarettes, age discounted tickets or be allowed to board your flight or stay at your hotel etc etc.
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Old 28.03.2015, 23:02
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Re: SBB Ticket Checks for Minors

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I really think it's the former in most cases here.

People like the way things work and are happy to pay for them.
I'll go with that
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