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City transport in Switzerland
Home > Tourist Guide > Table of contents > Travel basics > Getting around > City transport
The most common form of transport within cities is buses, whether the ordinary petrol-driven kind, or the more ecologically sound electricity powered trolleybuses. Many cities also have trams, and a few hillside ones have a funicular or two, but the only true metro system is in and around Lausanne. Zürich has a dense network of suburban commuter trains called the S-Bahn, which run out to neighbouring towns and along the lakeshore.
Within each city or local area, all transport is integrated under one ticketing system, with no limitations on changing from buses to trams or even some boats within the time validity of your ticket. The Swiss Pass and Swiss Flexi-Pass cover free travel within 35 cities across the country (listed on the card); tourist-oriented regional passes give free travel within their allotted area; and city tourist offices sell various day passes of their own giving free or discounted travel, which can be excellent value. Otherwise, you must buy a ticket before boarding from the machines located at every stop. These are fairly self-explanatory, in whichever language they’re labelled: you choose your destination; adult or child; single or return journey; full fare (1/1) or, if you hold a relevant travel pass, half fare (1/2); and pay what it says. Machines in the larger cities have options to sell day passes.
Ticket inspections are common within cities, and if your ticket is found wanting, you’ll be fined Fr.50 on the spot, or Fr.60 if you need to pay later.
There are plenty of metered taxis sharking around every town and city in the country, but given the density of public transport they’re pretty much unnecessary, and besides you need to be on a Swiss salary to afford them: flagfalls of Fr.6, plus per-kilometre rates of up to Fr.3, are common.
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