(Zurich and Lausanne, Switzerland) It would be easy to fall in love, abandon all critical thinking and glorify the Swiss public transport network. But on the contrary, it would be foolish to ignore your pleasure. so let’s go.
The Swiss public transportation system is absolutely fantastic. Last point. It’s Byzantium, as they say here.
It starts with efficiency. On the 20 flights that took place in four days, the wait did not exceed 10 minutes. Why ? Since there are so many options, when you find yourself at a station in a big city – we were in Zurich and Lausanne – there is always a metro, train, tram or bus that allows us to quickly start the journey.
In this regard, the CFF (Swiss Federal Railways) app is magic. We enter the starting point, we enter the destination, and we are presented with four or five options, regardless of the chosen mode of transportation.
The information is very helpful because even the powerful Google Maps can’t find a lot of options and, more importantly, explain them clearly. Because in the CFF app there are all the details, including traffic, location of gigs according to category and, above all, which platform to go to. Some important information at a station like Zurich, where platform numbers reach the 40s.
The trains are clean and the staff are courteous and speak several languages. On a trip to Lausanne, the lady in charge of advertising was particularly impressive, making her ads in French, Italian, German and English, as if Claude Dubois and Liu Kay were one of them.
Punctuality seems to be a core value. “Under the legendary Swiss punctuality, operators apologize if a train is more than three minutes late,” our colleague Emmanuel Favre, from the Sport Center agency, whispered to us. We have to take him at his word, because none of our trains have arrived this late.
Last thing: people know how to live. No unbearable hands-free calls, no Karin asking to see the manager (although we were told that Switzerland is not immune to this phenomenon), and above all, the payment system, based on honour, which is strictly respected if we rely on our services. . Small sample. The system is based on honor as access to vehicles and sidewalks is not controlled at the point of entry as is the case with North American transportation. It happens when a manager passes through the hallways, and no one has been caught red-handed during our travels.
So, the negatives now? As is the case almost everywhere, trains can be crowded during rush hour. So we had to spend the first hour of the flight between Zurich and Lausanne sitting on the stairs leading to the second floor. The man in front of us showed a brave face and opened the bottle of red wine, perhaps hoping to find comfort there. Even without Merlot, it’s still an experience too good to be settled in front of the metro window between Rosemont and Berry-UQAM at 8am.
If one has a question, it is difficult to find staff at larger stations. To say the least, the pedestrians we stopped were always helpful.
And finally, the last, but not least, downside: cost. The Swiss Pass gives you access to all modes of transportation anywhere in the country, and even covers a trip to a neighboring country – a train trip to Lustenau, Austria, in our case. It is no coincidence that the CFF presents it as “the key to traveling through Switzerland”. But Sesame said, for four days, it’s not cheap for tourists: 280 Swiss francs, for second class, or 425 Canadian dollars. However, prices are very reasonable for Swiss citizens.
We console ourselves by saying that we made the card profitable, with the return trip from Zurich to Lustenau, the return trip from Zurich to Lausanne, countless trips within the cities, and most important of all, not taking a taxi during the stay, even when arriving or departing. To the airport.
“Total coffee aficionado. Travel buff. Music ninja. Bacon nerd. Beeraholic.”