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Old 19.03.2012, 20:49
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Re: Transport system annoyed me big time!

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the mountain of red tape just to bust you in a speed trap with an international license is more work than it's worth, and those traps are set up to catch locals, not you.
Hehe - I remember in the early 90's handing my UK paper license over to a Nevada cop who'd pulled me over in the middle of nowhere & watching him unfold it to it's full majestic A3 size glory. He turned it over & back again & then silently folded it back up, handed it back to me & said "Get lost"

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Old 19.03.2012, 21:10
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Re: Transport system annoyed me big time!

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In Geneva as well
Lausanne too.
  #143  
Old 19.03.2012, 21:14
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Re: Transport system annoyed me big time!

Vevey. (At least, last time I was there)
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Old 19.03.2012, 22:00
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Re: Transport system annoyed me big time!

The first time I came to Zurich I had the same problem: a 20CHF note in my hand, a coin-only machine and 30 mins to get to the airport. What did I do? I ASKED one of the locals if they had change. Perhaps if it wasn't for the feral crowd and you had been in a more calm environment you would have done the same.

The lovely Swiss girl who I asked for change at the tram station actually bought the ticket for me and said I owed her nothing.

Another time, I didn't have the train ticket but the ticket inspector allowed me to quickly purchase it on the SBB mobile app. So obviously there are strict and not so strict people out there, and it's a question of luck which one you meet.

At the same time, the OP's encounter isn't a typical Swiss one is it? my Lonely Planet Guide warns of travelling in Italian trains where even if you have a ticket, you can still be fined if you forget to stamp it as you enter the platform.
  #145  
Old 19.03.2012, 22:01
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Re: Transport system annoyed me big time!

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In Basel, one gets a free public transport card if staying at a hotel. Is it just in Basel, or does this happen throughout Switzerland?
It certainly doesn't happen in Zurich. However I once had family staying in Zurich in an expensive 4 star hotel, they were offered a free breakfast at checkin only to be charged extortionately for it by a different member of staff at checkout - who told them the checkin staff were mistaken.
  #146  
Old 19.03.2012, 23:42
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Re: Transport system annoyed me big time!

The is the "Zürich Card" for tourists which gets one unlimited use of public transport. Some hotels give them out free to guests.

I would buy one of those or a day ticket if I was here as a tourist.

OP: bad luck. Write to the SBB explaining the situation - you might get a partial refund.

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Old 19.03.2012, 23:45
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Re: Transport system annoyed me big time!

PS. I much prefer public transport here to anything in the UK. Clean, punctual and regular. Not like the plethora of state subsidised train companies with their confusing array of overpriced tickets.

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Old 20.03.2012, 10:21
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Re: Transport system annoyed me big time!

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I guess you're just a glass half full kind of a person! He wasn't so lazy as to avoid filling out the form and talking to us for a few minutes. I prefer to think I met a decent human being rather than an autocratic automaton.
I don't think so.

No one complains when they are let off - do they? The flip side is that if you are caught you pay if the guy won't let you off.

I really don't get why you think there are "judgemental stone-throwers" here.

It is simple - you break the rules, if you get caught, you should be prepared to pay.

If you don't get caught you count your blessings.

If you get caught but get let off, even better.

But to assume that the rules don't apply to you, you then break them and then expect to be let off... (do I need to go on?)

Oh, and OP, don't know if anyone mentioned it. But travelling as a foreigner (if you can prove it) is the one exception that you can buy a ticket on the train (or so I've been told). So in principle you should get a full refund. You can use the money to pay for your PTSD therapy.
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Old 20.03.2012, 10:28
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Re: Transport system annoyed me big time!

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I don't think so.

No one complains when they are let off - do they? The flip side is that if you are caught you pay if the guy won't let you off.

I really don't get why you think there are "judgemental stone-throwers" here.

It is simple - you break the rules, if you get caught, you should be prepared to pay.

If you don't get caught you count your blessings.

If you get caught but get let off, even better.

But to assume that the rules don't apply to you, you then break them and then expect to be let off... (do I need to go on?)
I think my point has been completely lost here. Essentially I do not go along with the "It is simple - you break the rules, if you get caught, you should be prepared to pay." doctrine. I suggested that it would improve Switzerland's tourist product - which could become increasingly important given a) the slow death of the banking sector and b) the low rates of hotel occupancy - if, rather than the rules being there to be adhered to blindly at all costs, the rules were instead there for guidance.

In other words, I fully agree with the famous quotation "Rules are made for the guidance of wise men and the strict observance of fools". To fine anyone (tourist or Swiss to the nth generation) taking a train one stop to escape civil disobedience (football yob confrontation with police) falls very much under the latter part of the quote than the former. If you can't see that then I despair!
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Old 20.03.2012, 10:31
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Re: Transport system annoyed me big time!

It's too bad the conductors have to work between 12.00 - 14.00.
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Old 20.03.2012, 10:40
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Re: Transport system annoyed me big time!

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I think my point has been completely lost here.
Quite... what you mean is that there should be rules to cover the ground where the "usual" rules do not apply - oh the irony...
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  #152  
Old 20.03.2012, 10:48
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Re: Transport system annoyed me big time!

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Quite... what you mean is that there should be rules to cover the ground where the "usual" rules do not apply - oh the irony...
What is it about the rules obsession amongst some members of this forum? Why is common sense so alien or feared?

I guess this might be renamed the English Technocrats Forum.

Avoiding the obvious references to Abu Ghraib or Nazi Germany here are 2 humourous possible problems with just following the rules:



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Old 20.03.2012, 10:54
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Re: Transport system annoyed me big time!

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Depends on the state and the municipality. Doing 20mph (not km/h) over the limit in a 35 zone could be a fairly hefty fine with points and all that so, it's more than just pay a trivial fine and be done with it. It's not unheard of for unlucky sods to get a summons that they have to come back for but you really have to work at it or drive through OH or PA (Troopers in my home state even hate OH and PA troopers as they're pretty intractable). It's fuzzy math and there's no 'let the furriers off for free' policy, it's highly variable and it's good to travel with donuts just in case you get into trouble.
I hope you're right.

A work friend of mine was caught speeding in NC. I don't know how fast he was going but he's not the type to drive dangerously so I don't think it can have been by much. The troopers said he might get a summons and he might not, it wasn't for them to decide. He explained that although he is a US citizen he's living in Switzerland so it would be a lot of hassle for him to respond to a court summons. He asked them whether if he gets a summons he has to appear in person or whether he can send a lawyer to plead guily on his behalf. They said they didn't know. He's been waiting for 6 months ago and still heard nothing.
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Old 20.03.2012, 11:00
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Re: Transport system annoyed me big time!

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I hope you're right.

A work friend of mine was caught speeding in NC. I don't know how fast he was going but he's not the type to drive dangerously so I don't think it can have been by much. The troopers said he might get a summons and he might not, it wasn't for them to decide. He explained that although he is a US citizen he's living in Switzerland so it would be a lot of hassle for him to respond to a court summons. He asked them whether if he gets a summons he has to appear in person or whether he can send a lawyer to plead guily on his behalf. They said they didn't know. He's been waiting for 6 months ago and still heard nothing.
There's probably a dirty, dog eared envelope with "Official State Business" laying in the Lobamba unsorted mail depot Swaziland.
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Old 20.03.2012, 11:03
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Re: Transport system annoyed me big time!

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What is it about the rules obsession amongst some members of this forum? Why is common sense so alien or feared?

I guess this might be renamed the English Swiss Technocrats Forum.
Well, no denying that - I am Swiss, so I am sure you know me well enough

But since we lack everything from edible food to sensible public transport rules, what is your solution? You must have dozens lined up, please do enlighten me.
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Old 20.03.2012, 11:03
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Re: Transport system annoyed me big time!

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A work friend of mine was caught speeding in NC...........
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There's probably a dirty, dog eared envelope with "Official State Business" laying in the Lobamba unsorted mail depot Swaziland.
you're joking aren't you?
North Carolina?

they are still trying to figure "Switzerland, ain't that over by Cali-forn-eye-eh?"
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Old 20.03.2012, 11:05
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Re: Transport system annoyed me big time!

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What is it about the rules obsession amongst some members of this forum? Why is common sense so alien or feared?
Perhaps they've been in Switzerland too long and have adapted a more rigid mentality. Punishment here seems to be meted out with enjoyment.
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Old 20.03.2012, 11:27
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Re: Transport system annoyed me big time!

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Well, no denying that - I am Swiss, so I am sure you know me well enough

But since we lack everything from edible food to sensible public transport rules, what is your solution? You must have dozens lined up, please do enlighten me.
I never attacked Swiss food and for the sake of clarity I am a (halb-tax) card carrying fan of the public transport system - so much so that this is the only country I've lived in where I've chosen not to own a car but rather to rent one in the rare occasions it is necessary (although it would be great if the trains were clean and had space for luggage on airport runs).

Where I do think there is room for improvement is in the blind adherence to the rules to the detriment of civility, good manners, and the provision of a service. Does "Rules are made for the guidance of wise men and the strict observance of fools" translate into Swiss-German?

I'll also admit this is a failing of many societies and is hardly unique to the Swiss. What does seem particularly prevalent however is an unquestioning belief in authority figures and a rather limited service culture. As others have said punishment does seem to be meted out with enjoyment as opposed to being reserved for genuine ill-doers.

Also please remember that this is the complaints corner of the forum. Maybe a compliments corner should be setup for us to pat on the back the people, items and organisations which give us pleasure, good service and/or good value in our life in Switzerland?
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Old 20.03.2012, 12:15
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Re: Transport system annoyed me big time!

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I think my point has been completely lost here. Essentially I do not go along with the "It is simple - you break the rules, if you get caught, you should be prepared to pay." doctrine. I suggested that it would improve Switzerland's tourist product - which could become increasingly important given a) the slow death of the banking sector and b) the low rates of hotel occupancy - if, rather than the rules being there to be adhered to blindly at all costs, the rules were instead there for guidance.
I strongly disagree that having such rules (and fines) has any impact on the tourist trade - please show me any thread (no pun intended) of evidence to support this point.

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In other words, I fully agree with the famous quotation "Rules are made for the guidance of wise men and the strict observance of fools". To fine anyone (tourist or Swiss to the nth generation) taking a train one stop to escape civil disobedience (football yob confrontation with police) falls very much under the latter part of the quote than the former. If you can't see that then I despair!
As I said earlier, I have yet to be shown any proof of civil disobedience leading to the OP jumping a train. Indeed the only civil disobedience seen was by the OP himself.

If you can't see that, then despair away.

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Where I do think there is room for improvement is in the blind adherence to the rules to the detriment of civility, good manners, and the provision of a service. Does "Rules are made for the guidance of wise men and the strict observance of fools" translate into Swiss-German?
The rule of thumb is adherance to the rules. But I've had several times when rules have been bent or broken (knowingly) to my benefit. Indeed several others have commented on this, but I guess this would be classified under "inconvenient truth".

As I mentioned earlier there is always some room for error, but rules are there for the majority. If everyone bend every rule every time then you'd have complete chaos and quite frankly is a foolish suggestion. Where do you draw the line?
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Old 20.03.2012, 12:39
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Re: Transport system annoyed me big time!

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I strongly disagree that having such rules (and fines) has any impact on the tourist trade - please show me any thread (no pun intended) of evidence to support this point.

Well the OP for a start!

As I said earlier, I have yet to be shown any proof of civil disobedience leading to the OP jumping a train. Indeed the only civil disobedience seen was by the OP himself.

If you can't see that, then despair away.

Well if we are not to take the OP at his word (that police were clashing with football yobs) then there is no point in this thread at all. To follow your logic then we might assume the OP to have spent the weekend in Madrid rather than Zurich.

The rule of thumb is adherance to the rules. But I've had several times when rules have been bent or broken (knowingly) to my benefit. Indeed several others have commented on this, but I guess this would be classified under "inconvenient truth".

As I mentioned earlier there is always some room for error, but rules are there for the majority. If everyone bend every rule every time then you'd have complete chaos and quite frankly is a foolish suggestion. Where do you draw the line?

Where one's moral compass decides. That is the whole point of my view towards rules - they are for guidance AND NOT the be all and end all. If a ticket inspector cannot acknowledge someone escaping a danger zone by riding the train one stop then he shouldn't have the job.
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