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Old 14.09.2010, 17:03
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The Swiss Public Transport System

Swiss Trains and Buses

The Swiss Railway Network Home Page in English – SBB, CFF, FFS
.

IMPORTANT - There are quite a few place names in Switzerland which occur more than once. Check on this map that you are looking up the transport facilities for the right one!

Swiss Transport Network - Site Map in English – If you have questions, look here first.

There are many links on this single page
Everything from the opening hours of an individual railway station to details of rules regarding taking ones bike on the train.


Travelcards and Railpasses - find the best one for your requirements here.

Municipal Day Card - Tageskarte Gemeinde / Carte journalière commune / Carta giornaliera per i comuni
The Day Cards are offered by many parishes in Switzerland. They are bought en bloc from the SBB, 365 in each set i.e. one for each day of the year. The prices they are sold for vary; the rulings under which they are given out vary. Some towns will post one which has been ordered to the client, most have to be collected. Some parishes allow people from other municipalities to buy them; others only sell them to their own residents. You will have to check locally to get the relevant information.
This Swiss Day Passes Site gives a list of towns showing the availability and rulings.
Searching for the Homepage of ones town of residence (try www.name of town.ch) will often show the office where they can be purchased.
Vielen Dank für Ihre Anfrage. (N° CC5635802)

[Die Tageskarte Gemeinde hat die gleiche Geltungsdauer wie eine normale Tageskarte zum Halbtax. Beide Tageskarten sind gültig bis um 05.00 des Folgetages.
Schweizerische Bundesbahnen SBB SBB Contact Center Postfach - 3900 Brig, Schweiz Rail Service: +41 (0)900 300 300 (CHF 1.19/Min. vom Schweizer Festnetz) contactcenter@sbb.ch - http://www.sbb.ch]

Validity - Both Half-Tax Daycard and the Minicipal Daycard are valid until 5 a.m. the following day.



Regional Transport - Verkehrsverbünde, Communautés tarifaires et de trafic, Comunità tariffarie e di trasporto
Switzerland has about 20 Regional Fare Networks. Trains which have an ‘eye’ Non them are ‘self-control’ routes and no tickets are sold on the train.
When looking for accommodation and considering commuting, it is a good idea to check these areas. They make buying tickets a much simpler task when one has checked out the possibilities

The dangers of getting onto the train or bus without a valid ticket - new Rulings from December 2011.


New Rule explained.


The official SBB site says this.


Night Surcharge - another pitfall for the unwary - the buses and trains with a large ‘N’ beside the service number. It is irrelevant that the original ticket was bought at a time when the surcharge was already due – it is still not valid by itself.


The Rhaetian Railway - Die Rhaetische Bahn - Glacier Express, Bernina Express - Scenic Travel at its best.

Boat Services on the Swiss Lakes
Regular services on
Lake Geneva – (Genfersee, Lac Leman)
Lake Constance – (Bodensee)
Lac de Bienne – (Bielersee)
Lac de NeuchatelDetails in English
Lac de Neuchâtel – Bielersee -Murtensee
Murtensee – (Lac de Morat)
Lake Lucerne - Vierwaldstättersee
Lake Zürich
Lake Hallwil - Hallwilersee
Lake Thun and Lake Brienz – (Thunersee + Brienzersee)
Lake Zug – Zugersee
Lago Maggiore – Langensee
Lago di Lugano - Lake Lugano (in English)


Cabin-cars, Funiculars, Aerial Cableways etc.
Alternatives Wandern - Aerial Cablecars
This is a fantastic site with not only the ‘normal’ list of cable cars, but some lesser known ones.
There is also a list of mountains lakes, sorted by Canton, with their Swiss Coordinates and links to the Web Sites. It would be well worth spending a whole evening going through this Site.
Although many pages are in English, for some you may need Google Translations

If you have an aversion to cable-cars, this post gives a list of mountains which can be reached by Mountain Railways and Funiculars


Travel Passes for Visitors - this is a Thread on EF which gives a great deal of helpful info for members having visitors to decide on the best solution for their guests to travel around Switzerland within a limited time period. Things change very quickly though so check prices etc. for validity unless they link to the official sites.
.
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Last edited by Longbyt; 03.01.2012 at 18:37. Reason: Validity of day cards.
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Old 14.09.2010, 18:14
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Re: The Swiss Public Transport System

Should you be here for more than a few weeks and be using public transport, it's wise to purchase a Halbtax card (Demi-Tarif in French, metà-prezzo in Italian) as it affords *almost* half fare tickets on all public networks and many private routes.



Basically, those without a half price card are tourists and the poor. Nobody else can afford not to have them as they pay for themselves pretty quickly. The three year card - CHF350 - is better than the yearly card - CHF150 - for discount value.


There's also a one day travel pass available, a one day / after 09:00 pass and even a birthday pass available, which for CHF33.- and proof of your ID is a cheap nationwide travel card; tell guests if they're here to celebrate

For regular commuters there's great sense in buying a GA (General Abonnement) which allows almost unlimited network use. Further info on the SBB site here.

One may also buy tickets online and via mobile devices, once you've signed up to the Ticket Shop. This proves handy when in a rush.
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Old 14.09.2010, 18:30
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Re: The Swiss Public Transport System

If you're travelling far for a day trip be sure to compare the price with the day pass mentioned above. The machines unfort don't alert you clearly to this option. And if travelling after 9am, go for this cheaper option.
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Old 14.09.2010, 18:42
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Re: The Swiss Public Transport System

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......Basically, those without a half price card are tourists and the poor. .....

The dumb tourists perhaps. All the tourists I've know have gotten one (if the didn't take the Swiss pass).

One trip major trip through switzerland usually makes it worthwile.
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Old 14.09.2010, 19:23
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Re: The Swiss Public Transport System

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For regular commuters there's great sense in buying a GA (General Abonnement) which allows almost unlimited network use. Further info on the SBB site here.
It depends on how far and how often you travel, and where you live. For example I live in Zurich, and use a yearly ZVV Network pass for the zones I use. If you're a tourist staying a couple of weeks in the Zurich area, a monthly ZVV Network pass might be the best option.

I'm not sure of how it works in other areas outside of Zurich, though.
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Old 14.09.2010, 22:24
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Re: The Swiss Public Transport System

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The dumb tourists perhaps. All the tourists I've know have gotten one (if the didn't take the Swiss pass).
Any tourists led here by Google should read ChrisW's excellent post Travel Passes for Visitors. Though the post is dated 2006 is was updated earlier this year to reflect current prices.

For those who visit every year and stay for more than a month the three year half card is an excellent option.
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Old 15.09.2010, 22:49
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Re: The Swiss Public Transport System

I've added the warning about the Night Services and the Fines for not having valid tickets. If any links do not work, or more details should be added to the first post, please let me know.
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Old 17.09.2010, 00:18
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Re: The Swiss Public Transport System

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Should you be here for more than a few weeks and be using public transport, it's wise to purchase a Halbtax card (Demi-Tarif in French, metà-prezzo in Italian) as it affords *almost* half fare tickets on all public networks and many private routes.

Basically, those without a half price card are tourists and the poor. Nobody else can afford not to have them as they pay for themselves pretty quickly. The three year card - CHF350 - is better than the yearly card - CHF150 - for discount value.
The Halbtax Card isn't a clear cut winner. If you are taking several longer journeys the Swiss Pass may work out cheaper as you only pay the one charge for the pass with various lengths of validity up to one month. As it also includes public transport in many urban centres, discounts on most mountain routes, post buses and Museum pass, the benefits can soon add up.

Another bonus is that it gives flexibility. You can change you plans during the day with no cost implications: no wasted return tickets if you decide to go on to a different destination.

Swiss Pass
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Old 26.10.2010, 23:28
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Re: The Swiss Public Transport System

One point worth making is that describing the SBB as the Swiss railway network is a little misleading and can cause confusion. While the SBB (Swiss Federal Railways) has by far the largest rail network and is regarded as Switzerland's national railway operator, there are a multitude of other operators both large and small. You'll especially find that if you venture onto the mountain railways they're all private operators, as are light rail operators like the Forchbahn (Zürich's S18 line). Some of these operators have extensive networks, such as the combined network of the Matterhorn-Gotthard-Bahn and the Rhätische Bahn - most famous as the route of the Glacier Express.

However - don't worry about it! With a very few exceptions your half-fare card or GA is valid on pretty much anything that runs on rails. Just don't be put off or confused when you find yourself looking at a train or a station that doesn't have SBB branding.
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Old 30.12.2010, 23:53
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Re: The Swiss Public Transport System

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Thanks for all this really useful sticky.

PS Sometimes searching in CH is difficult because of the 4 languages. SBB (in German) = CFF (in French) (both official names for the Swiss national railway.
Far more special is the difference between the FFS (Ferroviarie Federale Svizzere) and the FS (Ferroviarie Statale), in other words between SBB and the Italian State Railways. Not least when the SBB/FFS fast train from Zurich to Chiasso transforms into a regional train of Greater Milano between Chiasso and Milano-Centrale.

SBB CFF FFS however is only working in three languages, so what is the matter ? And even the Rhätische Bahn operations-wise is German language basically. So that it only is three languages....
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Old 03.01.2011, 15:35
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Re: The Swiss Public Transport System

Just to confuse you further, "SFR" (Swiss Federal Railways) is sometimes seen unofficially in English-language documents.
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Old 03.01.2011, 16:05
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Re: The Swiss Public Transport System

If someone wanted to do something useful, they'd provide an explanation/translated picture of those cursed tram ticket machines in Zurich. They always boggle my non-German my brain when I'm up there on rare occasions.
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Old 23.01.2011, 20:03
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Re: The Swiss Public Transport System

I agree. All very confusing to the uninitiated.

Anyone care to give a brief overview ?

Thanks in anticipation

M
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Old 23.01.2011, 20:44
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Re: The Swiss Public Transport System

Those darn things are utterly confusing even to native German speakers that have to use them only once or twice a year.
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Old 23.01.2011, 20:53
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Re: The Swiss Public Transport System

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If someone wanted to do something useful, they'd provide an explanation/translated picture of those cursed tram ticket machines in Zurich. They always boggle my non-German my brain when I'm up there on rare occasions.
Here we go:

Ticket Machines
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Old 23.01.2011, 20:56
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Re: The Swiss Public Transport System

The ZVV machines are not so bad - the buttons are relatively clearly marked. The other day at HB I had to by a +1 or 2 zone extension for my zone 10 to use the S-bahn to go to Wallisellen on one of those touch-screen jobbies. It took a good few minutes both with the English and German text to find the damn thing.

Cheers,
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Here we go:

Ticket Machines
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Old 24.01.2011, 08:28
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Re: The Swiss Public Transport System

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The ZVV machines are not so bad - the buttons are relatively clearly marked. The other day at HB I had to by a +1 or 2 zone extension for my zone 10 to use the S-bahn to go to Wallisellen on one of those touch-screen jobbies.
The extensions are a nightmare to find - and it wasn't helped when the menus changed a while back. However, once you have memorised it you are ok.

The code is *002 by the way - replace 2 with 3,4,5 etc for extra zone
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Old 31.01.2011, 18:50
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Re: The Swiss Public Transport System

Does anybody know of restrictions for the use of the Tageskarte/carte journalière, ie which train routes/boats are not available?
Is it possible to buy 3 for consecutive days, and start 2nd and 3rd day journey from other station than your local one? Thanks.
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Old 31.01.2011, 18:55
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Re: The Swiss Public Transport System

The Tageskarte ( Carte journalière commune in FR ) is valid up to 12 midnite of that day it is valid for, and can be used from any Swiss station.

It is essentially a one day GA.

Synoptic map of validity is here - Landeck-Zams, Domodossala, Waldshut, Thayngen, St. Louis etc.
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Old 01.02.2011, 18:53
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Re: The Swiss Public Transport System

Picked up a printed map of your link from the station in Yverdon today. They also confirmed that if I can get several day tickets in a row, I can make overnight stops and pick up the journey again. Can't wait.
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