Ease of buying tickets when using 1/2 fare card

Ease of buying tickets when using 1/2 fare card

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Vasudha
Vasudha
21 posts
new member
Feb 14, 2016 - 7:07 PM

Hello,

My husband and I will be travelling from Paris to Lausanne on March 8, 2016 for a 8 day holiday. For the last 2 days of our stay in Lucerne we are getting a 2-day Tell pass free and I have worked out that a Swiss half fare card is more cost effective than the Swiss Pass.

My question is would there be long queues to buy tickets everyday for the 6 days in BO region?

Is it just a little additional inconvenience compared to the saving or is a 4 day swiss pass worth the trouble saved from buying tickets everyday?

Thanks in advance

Arno
Arno
7722 posts
expert &
moderator
Feb 15, 2016 - 12:15 PM

Hi Vasudha,

My rule of thumb is like this: if the expected overall costs are substantially lower with a Swiss Half Fare Card, then that's the one I buy. If the difference is not that big I prefer a pass that includes unlimited traveling, like the Swiss Travel Pass (the Swiss Pass no longer exists).

I find unlimited traveling without the need to buy tickets much more convenient, but of course I won't pay a huge additional amount for that convenience. One can buy tickets from machines of staffed desks. It takes anywhere from 1 to 20 minutes. Usually it does not take a lot of time, but it depends on the place and time. The staffed desks of airport rail stations and larger stations like Interlaken can be really busy at times, but not at all at other times.

Apart from saving time I also like the flexibility to change my trip along the way, rather than sticking to the route of the ticket I purchased in the morning.

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
2657 posts
expert
Feb 17, 2016 - 2:43 PM in reply to Vasudha

Hi Vasuda -

The ticket machines are menu driven and simple to use for buying half-fare tickets. You may choose English, French, German or Italian.

They are fast, there are lots of them, and the lines are rarely more that 3 people. I use them even when my train is pulling in....although I do rush a bit. ;-)

Search the SBB web site (from the "search" item at the top of the home page) for "ticket machines" and work your way through the menu to get to instructions. You may practice on-line:

www.sbb.ch/en/station-services/am-bahnhof/dhl-service-point/automatic-ticket-machine/online-demo-billettautomat-sbb.html

Basically you enter start point ( shown at the top and assumed to be the station your are in at that time, (but you can select "alternate connections" and enter a different start point) and destination (common ones are shown already) and follow the menus. At one point, you can chooses "half-fare" or children's or discounted vs. "without half fare card" or "full fare/adult."

Slowpoke

Last modified on Feb 17, 2016 - 2:44 PM by Slowpoke
Slowpoke
Slowpoke
2657 posts
expert
Feb 17, 2016 - 2:50 PM in reply to Arno

<<"Apart from saving time I also like the flexibility to change my trip along the way, rather than sticking to the route of the ticket I purchased in the morning.">>

Although it is not fast, you can stop at an intermediate station and go to the ticket counter to change a routing. They'll need your existing ticket with some poertion of it unused. It used to be that the conductor could do that on the train...not sure if they still have that capability, since the change in 2011 to no longer allow buying tickets on trains. . Do you know?

And, of course, as you know , the ticket you buy for the day may be used for any train along the chosen route, at any time. You are not constrained to a single train at a particular time. You can stop for sightseeing or lunch, then catch the next train on the same route.

Slowpoke.

Arno
Arno
7722 posts
expert &
moderator
Feb 17, 2016 - 3:22 PM in reply to Slowpoke

I don't think you can have your ticket changed on board. I never tried though. You can still buy a class upgrade on board of InterCity trains, but a minimum price of CHF 10 applies.

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
2657 posts
expert
Feb 17, 2016 - 4:52 PM in reply to Arno

Thanks-

I'll ask when I am there in May, if I remember. ;-(

Slowpoke

Vasudha
Vasudha
21 posts
new member
Feb 18, 2016 - 8:11 AM

Arno and Slowpoke, thanks a lot for taking time to reply. The other option I would like to consider is the regional pass. The Bernese Oberland pass validity starts only in April so we wouldn't be able to buy that, is there any other pass valid for March in the BO region that we can consider vis a vis a 1/2 fare card? Thank you.

Arno
Arno
7722 posts
expert &
moderator
Feb 18, 2016 - 10:13 AM in reply to Vasudha

Hi Vasudha,

Well, there's a winter rail pass for hikers but it's not for the entire Bernese Oberland, only the Jungfrau region. Please see www.jungfrau.ch/en/tou rism/travel-information/sportpass/ hikingsledging-pass/. I think the Swiss Half Fare Card and Swiss Travel Pass are the most obvious options to compare. Those cover the entire country, so also the trip from the Bernese Oberland to your next destination (border or airport probably?).

Last modified on Feb 18, 2016 - 10:14 AM by Arno
Vasudha
Vasudha
21 posts
new member
Feb 18, 2016 - 11:21 AM

Thank you, Arno.

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