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Old 12.01.2019, 20:22
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Tram fine for no ticket?

Hello all!

Been lurking on the EF forum for a couple of months now, but now have a question of my own and thought I'd officially join (perhaps not the best first post to make, but alas...). Was slightly concerned about a recent incident and would love and appreciate some advice.

A bit long of a post, but here's the situation: I've been in Zurich on-and-off for the past 3 months on business. Am more or less familiar with Zurich at this point: have some favorite bars, restaurants, and am definitely familiar with the rules here (read: public transit rules.)

Was at a company dinner event yesterday evening in which my co-worker and I both wore our company logo jackets. They are identical and are the same size. This is a bit funny I suppose, but we ended up swapping jackets at the end of the night (they were hung up next to each other at the restaurant coat area). Not a big deal since we'll see each other again, but she went off to meet her friend for more drinks afterwards, while I took the tram back to the hotel.

As such, this was my first time in nearly 3 months that (1) I forgot/didn't have a tram ticket, as it was in my jacket pocket, which my friend was then wearing and (2) conveniently so, was checked for a ticket by an inspector. I didn't realise the jacket wasn't mine/what had happened until I arrived at the hotel, but those details don't really matter/aren't of concern to the inspector or ZVV. Though obviously unintentional, this was completely my fault and I accept that.

I must have looked genuinely confused and flabbergasted when I explained that I had bought a ticket and had never traveled without one before to the inspector, because she initially took down my name and had started to ask for my birthday, when she just said she would get off with me at the station and made me pay the 100 Francs, which I was happy to do and did on the spot. (Note that I speak no German.) She told me since this was my first offence and because I was polite, she wouldn't take down my personal information. I paid the 100 fee at a machine with her, said cheers, and went back to the hotel. Before leaving, I apologised once more and asked her again if she would be taking my personal information and she clarified that no, this time it was just the penalty cost.

Accident or not, I realise this is my fault and had no qualm about paying the fees. My stupidity, not hers, and I'm an advocate of public transit. And they obviously cannot function without honest riders.

This being said, a few questions. (This is the first time I've ever been stopped by an authority figure, much less in a foreign country and it is making me a bit nervous.)

This is the biggest thing--she told me that she wouldn't be taking down my personal information and she didn't ask me for my home country or my address or anything, but she does have my name and my DOB. Was she just telling me that she wouldn't write down or report my personal information to make me feel better/shut up, or does the fact that she didn't ask for information beyond my name (which is very unique, btw) and birthday prove that she won't be taking down my personal information? The receipt on the fee payment does say "unknown passenger." I ask because I'll have to apply for a work permit for longer stays in Zurich and am worried that this may affect that process. In the chance she did write me down, is this criminal/a big deal? Who would have access to this information? I have read places that this information is scrubbed after 2 years of good behaviour. Is this true? Obviously this was a first time offence and strange/funny situation and it won't happen again, but still. Am I worrying over nothing?

As always, very appreciate of the advice on this forum! Sorry if I sound a bit freaked over nothing. Cheers.
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Old 13.01.2019, 00:00
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Re: Tram fine for no ticket?

You really think anybody cares about this crap, lots of people don't buy tickets, lots of people get caught.


You pay the fine of Chf 100.-- and end of story, NOBODY CARES, get over it !
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Old 13.01.2019, 05:11
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Re: Tram fine for no ticket?

Hi snowboarder

Don't worry, you're not in the system and even if the inspector had taken down all your personal information it wouldn't matter for things like work permits.

The reason public transportation companies have started to take down personal information, is something different.

There used to be a fixed fine every time one was caught without a ticket and some people figured out that, in some cases, it was cheaper to just pay the occasional fines than to buy tickets. Some even organized little "clubs" where every member payed something like 20 Fr. a month in a communal chest, which was then used to pay all of their fines. To stop this, public transport changed to a system of escalating fees. In Zürich you get fined 100 Fr. the first time you get caught, 140 Fr. the second time, the third time really gets tough with 220 Fr. in fines and the initiation of criminal proceedings.

But, as you were told, the information about each incident gets scrubbed after 2 years. As your information was never entered into the system, you have no official strike against you. Should you be caught again, you just would have to pay again the 100 Fr. for a first offence and not the 140 Fr. for a second one.
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Old 13.01.2019, 06:35
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Re: Tram fine for no ticket?

Jesus... a 2000 word novella just to tell us you forgot a ticket and got fined?

And don't worry, that one fine doesn't affect anything else.
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Old 13.01.2019, 10:43
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Re: Tram fine for no ticket?

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Jesus... a 2000 word novella just to tell us you forgot a ticket and got fined?

And don't worry, that one fine doesn't affect anything else.
She’s clearly works in a bank!
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Old 13.01.2019, 16:43
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Re: Tram fine for no ticket?

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She’s clearly works in a bank!
Banks stopped giving jackets with your name on them long back, unless you worked in at the Chicago Board of Trade floor.
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Old 13.01.2019, 18:31
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Re: Tram fine for no ticket?

Goodness, may I summarise: you forgot to carry your tram ticket and were stopped?

So if you had a valid ticket, but not on you, you are given a period to submit a copy to the VBZ. If I missed the finer details forgive.
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Old 13.01.2019, 18:53
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Re: Tram fine for no ticket?

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In Zürich you get fined 100 Fr. the first time you get caught, 140 Fr. the second time, the third time really gets tough with 220 Fr. in fines and the initiation of criminal proceedings.

But, as you were told, the information about each incident gets scrubbed after 2 years. As your information was never entered into the system, you have no official strike against you. Should you be caught again, you just would have to pay again the 100 Fr. for a first offence and not the 140 Fr. for a second one.
Since when having no ticket could be ever escalated to a criminal proceedings? I's just going to cost you a lot paying all the fines
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Old 13.01.2019, 18:55
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Re: Tram fine for no ticket?

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So if you had a valid personalized ticket, but not on you, you are given a period to submit a copy to the VBZ. If I missed the finer details forgive.
An anonymous ticked can not be used for a refund. OP seams to be still a visitor, so there is most likely no personalized ticket.

Not sure if it works with mobile tickets linked to a Swiss pass or named online tickets or with personalized monthly and annual passes only.

Last edited by aSwissInTheUS; 13.01.2019 at 19:09.
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Old 13.01.2019, 18:59
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Re: Tram fine for no ticket?

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Since when having no ticket could be ever escalated to a criminal proceedings?
Switzerland wide since January 1st 1942.

You are welcome.
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Old 13.01.2019, 20:07
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Re: Tram fine for no ticket?

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Since when having no ticket could be ever escalated to a criminal proceedings? I's just going to cost you a lot paying all the fines
Switzerland wide since January 1st 1942.

You are welcome.
Then the whole story suddenly makes sense! Just three times something unexpected happens within 2 years and you are prosecuted for a stupid ticket worth just a few francs
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Old 13.01.2019, 21:21
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Re: Tram fine for no ticket?

Isn't it the case that there is a difference between not having a ticket at all, and having forgotten that at the moment?

I know at least for GA, you having forgotten your card leads to a 5 (10?) CHF "administration fee" to look up your account, not a "fine". Previously, they gave you a paper you had to take to a SBB counter the next day along with the forgotten GA and 10 CHF, in order to 'make everything right'.
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Old 13.01.2019, 21:38
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Re: Tram fine for no ticket?

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Isn't it the case that there is a difference between not having a ticket at all, and having forgotten that at the moment?

I know at least for GA, you having forgotten your card leads to a 5 (10?) CHF "administration fee" to look up your account, not a "fine". Previously, they gave you a paper you had to take to a SBB counter the next day along with the forgotten GA and 10 CHF, in order to 'make everything right'.
Only works if you have a personalised ticket, not for one churned out of a machine otherwise anyone could take the piss.
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Old 13.01.2019, 22:22
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Re: Tram fine for no ticket?

With three months on and off, you seem like a person that would benefit from the SBB mobile app. Easier to purchase tickets and much harder to misplace.

Have you really been carrying paper tickets around regularly for three months?



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Hello all!

I've been in Zurich on-and-off for the past 3 months on business. Am more or less familiar with Zurich at this point: have some favorite bars, restaurants, and am definitely familiar with the rules here (read: public transit rules.)
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Old 13.01.2019, 22:29
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Re: Tram fine for no ticket?

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She’s clearly works in a bank!
Oh god, no
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Old 13.01.2019, 22:32
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Re: Tram fine for no ticket?

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With three months on and off, you seem like a person that would benefit from the SBB mobile app. Easier to purchase tickets and much harder to misplace.

Have you really been carrying paper tickets around regularly for three months?
I did consider getting the mobile app at first, but since I've been here on and off instead of continuously (usually 2-3 weeks in Zurich, then 2 weeks back home, etc) and because my workplace/everything else I need in Zurich is generally within 10 min walking distance from the hotel, I only buy the odd paper tram ticket to use once every now and then.
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Old 13.01.2019, 22:43
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Re: Tram fine for no ticket?

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Since when having no ticket could be ever escalated to a criminal proceedings? I's just going to cost you a lot paying all the fines

The SBB does it since 2006, the ZVV/VBZ since a few years ago, but I've never heard it actually go this far. Most people get more diligent after their first fine. If they nevertherless get caught a second time (within the two year period until prior fines get scrubbed), just about everybody decides to get a personalized monthly or yearly ticket to avoid the hassle of a potential third strike.



If you forget your personalized ticket, they can just look up your information online, if you get in a control. This costs just a couple of francs. And these are often waived if the inspector is in a good mood.

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Old 14.01.2019, 01:45
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Re: Tram fine for no ticket?

https://www.englishforum.ch/transpor...t-tickets.html

OP, a swipe on a smartphone could have saved you.
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