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Old 01.06.2012, 15:07
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Basel: do we really need a car?

Hello, everybody!

We are newbies from Canada mulling over the possibility of accepting a job offer with Novartis in Basel, hoping that one of the perqs of living in Basel would be not needing a car. There seems to be a lot of conflicting information on this topic in the forums. We have no kids. Is a car a necessity?

Thank you.


WJ
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Old 01.06.2012, 15:21
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Re: Basel: do we really need a car?

No.
But it is nice to have one...
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Old 01.06.2012, 15:37
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Re: Basel: do we really need a car?

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Hello, everybody!

We are newbies from Canada mulling over the possibility of accepting a job offer with Novartis in Basel, hoping that one of the perqs of living in Basel would be not needing a car. There seems to be a lot of conflicting information on this topic in the forums. We have no kids. Is a car a necessity?

Thank you.
As long as you live centrally enough, and/or are prepared to do your grocery shopping in smaller chunks, and in smaller shops, then no, you wouldn't _need_ a car. There are various cost-effective ways of renting one for those times when you need one, like getting furniture from Ikea or wherever, including the Mobility car sharing scheme.

Some people like to take this approach and feel good about it - it's surely more environmentally friendly, right? And it's certainly likely to encourage more cycling and stuff. Or is it?

Me, I like having a car, but then our living arrangements have been built based on the assumption that we'll always have one (or more). I couldn't do without if the price for that was having to live in the city.
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Old 01.06.2012, 15:40
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Re: Basel: do we really need a car?

The big point in favor of a car according to many post in the forum appears to be cross border grocery shopping. Are ther taxis or cross border buses that allow you to, say, shop in France or Germany for the day?

Thanks!

WJ
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Old 01.06.2012, 15:43
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Re: Basel: do we really need a car?

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The big point in favor of a car according to many post in the forum appears to be cross border grocery shopping. Are ther taxis or cross border buses that allow you to, say, shop in France or Germany for the day?

Thanks!

WJ

in the immediate area yes. bus 604 to st.louis, france that has a few large supermarkets and tram 8 line is being extended into germany next to a small shopping centre with a large supermarket.

trains also run to the towns in germany
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Old 01.06.2012, 15:45
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Re: Basel: do we really need a car?

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The big point in favor of a car according to many post in the forum appears to be cross border grocery shopping. Are ther taxis or cross border buses that allow you to, say, shop in France or Germany for the day?

Thanks!

WJ
There are buses to Grenzach, Saint-Louis and the Rhein Center, and the S-Bahn goes to Lörrach.

If you search for cross-border shopping on here you'll find loads of detailed information.
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Old 01.06.2012, 15:48
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Re: Basel: do we really need a car?

Many people join the Swiss car sharing / rental club. It's good for short trips, and pickup available nearly every village. But you have to return it to where you got it, clean and on time.

http://www.mobility.ch/en/pub/index.cfm

In my opinion, if you live in town then a car is a nuisance: you can't drink and drive, you have to park on the outskirts of the town centers, they are expensive. With the money you save you can take taxis, or hire cars.
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Old 01.06.2012, 15:49
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Re: Basel: do we really need a car?

Taxis are VERY expensive, in Lausanne 5 minutes drive is around 25 CHF at the best.

You could go with a train to a nearby city but it won't be very convenient/easy I think.

I was for year and a half in the center of a city without a car (used mobility) and often it was a hassle (no free cars, have to book in advance, late fees, no slot to prolong reservation) plus it's very expensive, comes down to about 1.5 CHF per km on average car.

Car will also be expensive to run especially for insurance and maintenance (unless you go to Germany for that)

I don't understand how Mobility is greener solution, if you have 5 normal families that drive 5.000 km a year each, what kind of a difference will it make if they have 5 separate cars (5*5000km) or use just 1 mobility car(25000km)?
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Old 01.06.2012, 15:51
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Re: Basel: do we really need a car?

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The big point in favor of a car according to many post in the forum appears to be cross border grocery shopping. Are ther taxis or cross border buses that allow you to, say, shop in France or Germany for the day?

Thanks!

WJ
Yes, there are, and there's a new tram line nearing completion that will take eager (expat) Swiss shoppers right to the German border and to the doorstep of a large hypermarket there. Buses supplement this option and depending where you live in Basel, German or French shops may be but a stroll away.

But do you really want to be limited to only the parts of Germany and France that are accessible by Basel's public transport system? And do you really want to struggle home on the tram with bags of groceries on both arms? Or would you rather visit the wonderful Fünfschilling (out in the sticks) after a leisurely day's commercial tourism, including half a day geting lost in warehouse-sized DIY stores (nothing comes close in Switzerland)?

Not to mention the myriad opportunities for genuine tourism that are far more quickly and conveniently reached by car than by tram/bus/train (or all three), even within Switzerland.

But you need to weigh convenience and time against cost and bleeding heart environmental concerns. If you want an underground (secure, enclosed) car parking space, you're looking at CHF 100 per month -- which alone starts to make a GA (annual public transport pass) look attractive.
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Old 01.06.2012, 15:52
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Re: Basel: do we really need a car?

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I don't understand how Mobility is greener solution, if you have 5 normal families that drive 5.000 km a year each, what kind of a difference will it make if they have 5 separate cars (5*5000km) or use just 1 mobility car(25000km)?
1) impact of making car - 5 less cars produced (in theory)
2) if you have a car you are more likely to use it
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Old 01.06.2012, 15:54
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Re: Basel: do we really need a car?

We presently use a service similar to Mobility here in Toronto and we love it. So much less expensive, even though the price per kilometer is nuts. However, you use only when you need. Of course last minute impulse driving is out of the question most of the time.

So, you can take these Mobility cars over international borders?


WJ
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Old 01.06.2012, 15:57
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Re: Basel: do we really need a car?

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So, you can take these Mobility cars over international borders?


WJ
C'mon ... gimme a G ... gimme an O ... gimme an O ... gimme a G ...

http://www.mobility.ch/en/pub/how_it...s_mobility.htm
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Old 01.06.2012, 15:58
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Re: Basel: do we really need a car?

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Yes, there are, and there's a new tram line nearing completion that will take eager (expat) Swiss shoppers right to the German border and to the doorstep of a large hypermarket there. Buses supplement this option and depending where you live in Basel, German or French shops may be but a stroll away.

But do you really want to be limited to only the parts of Germany and France that are accessible by Basel's public transport system? And do you really want to struggle home on the tram with bags of groceries on both arms? Or would you rather visit the wonderful Fünfschilling (out in the sticks) after a leisurely day's commercial tourism, including half a day geting lost in warehouse-sized DIY stores (nothing comes close in Switzerland)?

Not to mention the myriad opportunities for genuine tourism that are far more quickly and conveniently reached by car than by tram/bus/train (or all three), even within Switzerland.

But you need to weigh convenience and time against cost and bleeding heart environmental concerns. If you want an underground (secure, enclosed) car parking space, you're looking at CHF 100 per month -- which alone starts to make a GA (annual public transport pass) look attractive.



Not to sound cheeky, but the last thing on our minds while mulling over the possibility of moving to Europe is access to Home Depot like establishments.


WJ
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Old 01.06.2012, 16:01
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Re: Basel: do we really need a car?

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Not to sound cheeky, but the last thing on our minds while mulling over the possibility of moving to Europe is access to Home Depot like establishments.


WJ
You'll start thinking about it when you discover that you have to buy light fittings and curtains/blinds for every room of your rented home, tools to fit them, change all your electrical plugs, buy replacements for all your 110V appliances, stock your garden (if you sensibly decide to rent in the outskirts where, of course, you'd appreciate a car), buy a whole lot of furniture that you didn't know you needed ...
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Old 01.06.2012, 16:04
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Re: Basel: do we really need a car?

I have 2 friends in BS, they have 2 young children, and zero driver's licence.

Instead they have bicycles and a big one for the children too.

Cars...you can rent them or use mobility.ch
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Old 01.06.2012, 16:05
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Re: Basel: do we really need a car?

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Or would you rather visit the wonderful Fünfschilling (out in the sticks) .
its started to become a victim of its own sucess, the food standards have droppped badly in the last year and a lot of items are now just of packets.
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Old 01.06.2012, 16:07
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Re: Basel: do we really need a car?

We have been in Basel over 18 months without a car - and this is the first time we haven't owned a car. We LOVE IT!! If you are in the city (Baselstadt) a car is actually more of an inconvience.

I shop in Germany and France all the time and use the tram and buses - and my handy shopping trolley!!

We considered the mobility scheme but honestly haven't needed it.

To travel for sightseeing - we either use the Tageskarte Gemeinde (spell??) which for 39 CHF gives you an all day pass all over switzerland - but requires forward planning as you need to purchase in advance.

For other trips we hire a car. Just went to Italy for 4 days - took the bike and lots of gear and wanted to buy lots of food and wine so a hire car was better than a train. If you travel a lot by train then you can buy a half price card - for an annual fee.

My husband is a 7 minute tram ride from work - comes home for lunch - he used to drive 1.5 hours each way in the UK.

We also love to cycle - lots of paths and trails which give you views that you wouldn't get from a car - and exercise as well.

We moved flats in the beginning of the year and used the man with a van service that we found on this forum - he was great - got the van and an extra pair of hands.
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Old 01.06.2012, 16:12
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Re: Basel: do we really need a car?

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its started to become a victim of its own sucess, the food standards have droppped badly in the last year and a lot of items are now just of packets.
Not my experience, but hey, maybe I just get lucky every time, or you've just been unlucky. Not sure I understand "a lot of items are now just of packets" -- do you mean that a lot of their food comes out of a tin? If so, I am categorically certain that you're incorrect. Most of the food served at Fünfschilling is (as it always has been) produced very locally. Consequently, it's always seasonal and sometimes, some items aren't available.

What has suffered is the service. Sometimes the (always very good looking, very young) waitstaff have far too much to do.

Anyway, back to cars. Without one, you won't be able to make your own assessment of Fünfschilling.
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Old 01.06.2012, 16:19
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Re: Basel: do we really need a car?

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Not my experience, ...
Mostly +1. There was once where the service was dis-jointed and the meals arrived separately by a long way. Not good when you have small children, but otherwise very good overall.

That said, it is accessible by bicycle...
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Old 01.06.2012, 16:24
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Re: Basel: do we really need a car?

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That said, it is accessible by bicycle...
Shhhhhhhhh!!!!! The place'll be overrun with bleeding heart sweaty, stinky Lycra-wearers!
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