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Old 16.09.2011, 13:28
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Age to ride public transport alone?

I did a search and couldn't find the answer...

Is there a law about how old children have to be before they can ride the train alone? I'm thinking about a ten year old. The train is direct from point A to point B and it's a 20 minute ride.

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Old 16.09.2011, 13:43
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Re: Age to ride public transport alone?

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Is there a law about how old children have to be before they can ride the train alone?
No. Does such a law exist anywhere in the world?

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The train is direct from point A to point B and it's a 20 minute ride.
Even a five year old could do that (given that he's not been helicopter-mummed before).
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Old 16.09.2011, 13:48
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Re: Age to ride public transport alone?

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Even a five year old could do that (given that he's not been helicopter-mummed before).
I think given that the passenger isn't charged a fare until they are 6 years old, it is assumed that they will be travelling under the responsibility of an adult.

I wouldn't like to let my 5 year old take a 20 minute trip through the middle of the city alone and I am certainly not a helicopter mum.

Given that most kids can't read at that age, don't you think there is a high chance of them becoming unstuck if they have to navigate even a simple route themselves?

Back to the OP's question, I think 10 year olds are allowed to travel alone but it must be up to your judgement if you think he is mature enough and the route isn't too complicated.
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Old 16.09.2011, 13:52
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Re: Age to ride public transport alone?

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Given that most kids can't read at that age, don't you think there is a high chance of them becoming unstuck if they have to navigate even a simple route themselves?
Given that I've done that myself at that age - no. And I think we're talking about routes they already know.
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Old 16.09.2011, 13:55
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Re: Age to ride public transport alone?

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I think given that the passenger isn't charged a fare until they are 6 years old, it is assumed that they will be travelling under the responsibility of an adult.

I wouldn't like to let my 5 year old take a 20 minute trip through the middle of the city alone and I am certainly not a helicopter mum.

Given that most kids can't read at that age, don't you think there is a high chance of them becoming unstuck if they have to navigate even a simple route themselves?

Back to the OP's question, I think 10 year olds are allowed to travel alone but it must be up to your judgement if you think he is mature enough and the route isn't too complicated.
When I was 10, I was able to cross London on the underground on my own, of course we did not have mobile phones then, not that you can even get a signal underground.
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Old 16.09.2011, 13:56
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Re: Age to ride public transport alone?

I would travel with the child for a few trips, and let them tell me what to do.

I would be interested in asking them how they knew what to do, and try to distract them so they miss a stop or make a mistake and board the wrong train.

I would see how they react (panic, or just re-think things). THEN see what they do to get themselves out of the mess.

If they are old enough to remain calm, orientate themselves, and get themselves out of trouble, then I'd say they are old enough to travel alone.

I doubt a 5-6yo could do this, and I don't think that 'age' should be the deciding factor here.
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Old 16.09.2011, 14:30
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Re: Age to ride public transport alone?

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No. Does such a law exist anywhere in the world?

Even a five year old could do that (given that he's not been helicopter-mummed before).
Since Switzerland is known to have lots of laws and lots of fines, I thought I would play it safe and ask, since I'm new around here.

Well, a five year old would not be allowed to be at home by himself, so I reckon that he wouldn't be allowed to ride the bus/train by himself but who knows what the authorities here think.

I'd like to find out ahead of time than risk him being questioned by the train conductor etc.
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Old 16.09.2011, 14:43
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Re: Age to ride public transport alone?

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Since Switzerland is known to have lots of laws and lots of fines, I thought I would play it safe and ask, since I'm new around here.

Well, a five year old would not be allowed to be at home by himself, so I reckon that he wouldn't be allowed to ride the bus/train by himself but who knows what the authorities here think.

I'd like to find out ahead of time than risk him being questioned by the train conductor etc.
Really shouldn't be a problem. I travelled regularly from Chur to Lugano with Bus and Train when I was ten. I would buy him a mobile phone and
give him instructions who to call when he gets lost...and what billhardie said.
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Old 16.09.2011, 14:47
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Re: Age to ride public transport alone?

Certainly the kiddies I see often on the trams about Basel look to be about 6 or 7. They look kinda cool with their little glowy V things.

Edit: Just make sure he knows he has to pay and how he needs to do it (most use those clip card things).
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Old 16.09.2011, 14:50
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Re: Age to ride public transport alone?

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Certainly the kiddies I see often on the trams about Basel look to be about 6 or 7. They look kinda cool with their little glowy V things.
+1
The fact that kids have to pay from age 6 is a bit of a hint (although they have to pay below 6 if they're not with a fare-paying adult)
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Old 16.09.2011, 15:02
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Re: Age to ride public transport alone?

If they make it home, then they're old enough.
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Old 16.09.2011, 15:23
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Re: Age to ride public transport alone?

My daughter has been traveling alone on buses and trains since the age of 10. No rules as far as I am aware!
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Old 16.09.2011, 16:13
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Re: Age to ride public transport alone?

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Well, a five year old would not be allowed to be at home by himself, so I reckon that he wouldn't be allowed to ride the bus/train by himself but who knows what the authorities here think.
They may not stay at home alone, but plenty of them seem to walk to school alone each morning.
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Old 16.09.2011, 16:43
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Re: Age to ride public transport alone?

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They may not stay at home alone, but plenty of them seem to walk to school alone each morning.
Don't tell the school run brigade. There's a definite lack of 4x4s clogging up the street in front of the local (primary) school round the corner from our place. This place will never feel like London while they all walk to school.














...and I'm quite happy about it. It's so nice to see the wee ones with their reflective "V"s going to and fro.
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Old 16.09.2011, 18:10
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Re: Age to ride public transport alone?

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They may not stay at home alone, but plenty of them seem to walk to school alone each morning.
Yes, that'a a good point I didn't think of but sometimes the application of rules in this country can be a little surprising so I'd rather not assume anything. He knows the route and I'm confident he can do it but I was worried if someone questioned him, "Hey, where are your parents!"

It sounds like there is no law against it, so we'll give it a go...

Thanks
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Old 19.09.2011, 20:28
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Re: Age to ride public transport alone?

Our Swiss neighbour sends her 8 year old on the train alone to school every day, a ca. 15 minutes journey ... she brings daughter to the train station, and then daughter walks alone from the station to the Horgen bilingual school.

They practices together a few times until the daughter felt comfortable.

I think a 10 year old is certainly old enough to make this journey during the day (I would definitely let my 10 year old do it) ... as long as all parties are comfortable.
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Old 19.09.2011, 21:59
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Re: Age to ride public transport alone?

I let my son go into town on his own on the train for the first time aged 9.
The teacher didn't approve.

I also have a friend whose daughter travelled by train from one of the outlying villages and then took a bus in Solothurn to get to school at the age of 7.
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Old 19.09.2011, 22:10
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Re: Age to ride public transport alone?

I went to school either on my own or with the kids from next door from age 7 - this was in England in the late 1960s, so admittedly less traffic than nowadays. It involved either a 20-minute walk or five minutes on the bus (but the bus was always full so we walked nine times out of ten).

Children can assimilate this stuff with no problem at all - I would agree with those who suggest you do a couple of accompanied trial runs first, everything will go fine afterwards.
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Old 19.09.2011, 22:27
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Re: Age to ride public transport alone?

Hell, by the time my younger daughter was 9 or 10, she was taking the train to Italy by herself!

(shopping, of course! )

Tom
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