Regional Pass Lake Geneva-Alps

Regional Pass Lake Geneva-Alps

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TLatz
TLatz
8 posts
new member
May 1, 2016 - 12:52 AM

Hello, It's been a bit since I posted last. We have booked our tickets for travel into Geneva and exiting out of Lucerne/Zurich the second half of August. We're excited! I'm looking at potential rail passes and had a question. But first it may be best to give an outline of our trip.

My wife and I will be landing in Geneva, traveling to Yvoire via Nyon and ending up in Lausanne our first day, spend the second day in Lavaux Wine Region, Third day travel from Lausanne to Murren via a stop on Montreux and the GoldenPass railroad. Days 4, 5, 6 in Berner Oberland and traveling to Lucerne where we will spend days 7 and 8 in the region and traveling from Lucerne to Friedrichsen to pick up a rental car for our German portion of the trip on day 9, a Sunday.

I noticed a Lake Geneva Regional Pass online, the details state "20% discount applies to the pass price if you have a valid Swiss Half Fare Card, Swiss Travel Pass Flex Combi or Swiss Transfer Ticket Combi at the time of traveling."

My questions is, does that mean the discount does not apply if I purchase a Swiss Travel Pass to activate the day after we leave the region? If so, I don't understand why someone would purchase a Travel Pass and Regional Pass at the same time for a discount. Perhaps I am confused, an explanation would be great.

If my thoughts are correct, it seems to me the best pass route to go may be a Half Fare Pass for my entire trip, allowing for flexibility in our travels but also taking advantages of some local transport cards.

Thanks so much!

-Travis

Annika
Annika
4417 posts
expert &
moderator
May 1, 2016 - 9:34 AM

Hi Travis,

Good to hear you're making progress! Your itinerary sounds good to me. As for your rail pass question: yes, the 20% discount for the Regional Pass Lake Geneva-Alps can only be obtained with an STS Pass (Swiss Half Fare Card, Swiss Travel Pass, etc.) that's valid during the Regional Pass's validity. So in most cases the combination of a nation-wide STS pass plus a discounted regional pass is too expensive, but for some itineraries it does work. For example: an STS pass used for traveling to several regions/throughout the country can be combined with a regional pass that offers much better coverage for a specific region than a nation-wide pass does, and this may turn out to be an economical choice if one plans to use public transportation extensively over there. That's because tickets that are not or only partly covered by a nation-wide pass are very expensive. This even goes for 50% discounted tickets as provided by the Swiss Half Fare Card; these too can still be quite pricey. So in such cases an additional regional pass can be worth its money.

I don't think it's a good combination in your case though. Just a Swiss Half Fare Card or an 8 day Swiss Travel Pass for optimal flexibility seems to be a better choice. If you want to be sure, you'd best do the maths as explained here. Please mind that most free local passes, as provided by hotels, are very limited, so they won't help you much.

TLatz
TLatz
8 posts
new member
May 1, 2016 - 1:18 PM in reply to Annika

Thanks Annika for the clarification. I will run some numbers, I feel like the half fare card or the flex pass may be best for us since a couple days it seems like we will spend very little on travel.

I understand buying and looking up point to point tickets but here is an example I had confusion on. If i buy a trip all at the same time, is the ticket only valid for the trains/boats selected or can I take subsequent trains if we decide to stay longer in an area.

For example: Geneva airport to Geneva town center covered by travel pass, but Geneva to Nyon, Nyon to Yvoire, Yvoire to Nyon, Nyon to Lausanne. If I buy a ticket for the total journey it seems to be cheapest, maybe I'm wrong. But I feel I will be "stuck" in those train times unless I actually separate my travel times out when purchasing the ticket. Please let me know if this needs clarification.

-Travis

Annika
Annika
4417 posts
expert &
moderator
May 2, 2016 - 6:00 AM

Hi Travis,

First of all, mind that you don't have to book or buy tickets in advance. You can just do so at the spot right before boarding your train.

I'm not sure if I understand your question about dividing a journey over several legs correctly, but I'll give it a try: a regular ticket for a specific route is valid during the entire day. It's not bound to specific trains or specific times (unless you buy special tickets such as supersaver tickets, which are valid for specific trains and times only). Along the route for which the regular ticket is valid, you're allowed to get off the train and hop on a next one as often and as long as you like. The only requirement is that you complete the journey within the timeframe the ticket is valid for.

As for the journey you mentioned, assuming you'll be using a Swiss Half Fare Card: you should buy a discounted ticket Geneva-Lausanne, get out in Nyon, buy a discounted boat ticket at the dock, take the boat to Yvoire and then back again to Nyon, and continue your journey to Lausanne using the train ticket you've already bought.

When using a Swiss Travel Pass, or a free travel day on the Swiss Travel Pass Flex, such matters become much less complicated. You won't need any tickets and you can just hop on and off any train or boat.

Is this the answer you're looking for?

Last modified on May 2, 2016 - 6:01 AM by Annika
TLatz
TLatz
8 posts
new member
May 2, 2016 - 1:55 PM in reply to Annika

That is the answer I am looking for. Thanks so much for the clarification. This would also work when taking the Goldenpass line as well from Montreux to Interlaken correct? I may need a seat reservation for the start of the journey but could "hop-off, hop-on" at the stops along the way as long as I reach Interlaken in time?

Annika
Annika
4417 posts
expert &
moderator
May 2, 2016 - 2:32 PM in reply to TLatz

Hi Travis,

Yes, this works for all train routes in Switzerland, including the Golden Pass. As long as you don't arrange for seat reservations or special tickets such as supersaver tickets, you can get on and off along the route. Golden Pass trains don't require seat reservations either: www.myswissalps.com/go ldenpass/tickets.

TLatz
TLatz
8 posts
new member
May 2, 2016 - 2:40 PM in reply to Annika

I appreciate all the help, I'm sure I'll have more questions soon!

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