Buying tickets for Swiss Half Fare Card holders

Buying tickets for Swiss Half Fare Card holders

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bluesea888
bluesea888
4 posts
new member
Nov 7, 2015 - 4:04 PM

Hi,

I have recently purchased my swiss half fare card from my local agent and is trying to plan my trip for this december. I understand that tickets are available at manned rail stations during opening hours, from the ticketing machines at (rail) stations or online. May I know how do I apply the discount when buying train tickets online from SBB? I only see the option of swiss half fare travel card. Please help!!

And I heard that generally the trains are quite empty and it's quite safe to buy on that day and over the counter, is this true?

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
2657 posts
expert
Nov 8, 2015 - 1:12 AM in reply to bluesea888

The trains are hardly empty, but do have seats for everyone. They do get quite full of commuters in the AM rush hour, so you will get a seat unless you are commuting from Versoix to Geneva at 0845.

Buy a ticket that day or at the last minute. There is absolutely no reason to buy tickets ahead of time on line, except to save a minute or two. You can buy your ticket at the last minute at the station. That is what I do, and i use a half fare card. All they do is get you on the train; they don't get you a seat.. Traffic management takes care of having seats available. They are, 99.99% of the time.

However, if I expect to be in real hurry the next day -- for example, to go to the airport - I buy my ticket the night before, making sure it is good for the next day. (That is a choice as well on the ticket machines.)

The ticket machines have the option to buy (or the clerk at the window can sell you) a full fare ticket or a half fare ticket. I'd suggest that you buy the half-fare ticket. ;-)

You have a choice of first class or second class. Second class is very nice. First class tends not to be as full, and has generous seating. Useful for very long trips; not needed otherwise.

Tickets do not reserve a seat, so it does not matter in which car you sit. Do watch for first class (yellow stripe and the number 1 on the outside) or second class, however.

When you are on the train, the conductor will come by to check/punch your ticket. Show your half-fare discount card, and your half-fare ticket. Easy.

Slowpoke.

Last modified on Nov 8, 2015 - 1:21 AM by Slowpoke
bluesea888
bluesea888
4 posts
new member
Nov 8, 2015 - 2:08 AM in reply to Slowpoke

Thanks for ur advices! I will buy the tickets over the counter then!

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
2657 posts
expert
Nov 8, 2015 - 6:45 AM in reply to bluesea888

<<"Thanks for ur advices! I will buy the tickets over the counter then!">>

That will work, and English is a required language for the counter staff, but if there is a line of people , sometimes it is a slow process.

I advise you to learn to use the ticket machines. Buying a ticket for a train journey is very simple, and you can practice (as long as there is no one waiting behind you) going through the steps presented in the menus on the screen all the way to the last step, which is when you pay. When you get to that screen, you can cancel the whole transaction you have begun. You can also back up to a prior step. The machine has no feelings to get annoyed at you. ;-)

You can also practice at an online simulator -

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

In most machines you can pay with a credit card or cash. Most machines accept Swiss paper money and Swiss coins, and give coins in return for exact change. Some only accept credit cards.

I believe that they cannot be used to reserve a seat....I certainly don't know how! And, I also would go to the counter for a ticket for a journey that goes outside of Switzerland. If you do reserve a seat on special trains such as the Golden Pass train panoramic cars, you should do that in advance, or you may end up in the regular cars.

www.myswissalps.com/tr ain/reservations

www.sbb.ch/en/travelca rds-and-tickets/tickets-for-switzerland/seat-reservations.html

www.myswissalps.com/tr ain/reservations/howto use

www.myswissalps.com/go ldenpass

Local Transit Networks in Large Cities -

I suspect that you might not need this particular information.

The only aspect of using the machines that still gives me an occasional problem is buying specialized "city tickets" or "day tickets" for a city such as Zürich, including nearby communities within the regional bus/tram/train ticket network. For example, Zürich Airport is included in one zone of the regional network, and you can go by train or tram....or bus, with the same ZVV ticket for the correct zones.. There are several fare zones, and many possible choices. I usually have to cancel the process partway through at least once although I am usually able to do what I need. In some of the larger cities, the transit system tickets are for sale on specially marked ticket machines that sell regular train tickets, as well as the machines at each tram or bus stop.. In Zürich, for example, they have a "ZVV"symbol on them, which stands for Zürich Verkehrs Verein - the Zurich Transportation Union (company). I have never done it in Montreux, and cities often have slightly different systems. In Zürich, you buy a ticket before you get on a bus or tram, and inspectors check on various trams at random. There is no conductor checking your ticket when you get on or off. There are large fines if you are caught without a valid ticket.......

Slowpoke

bluesea888
bluesea888
4 posts
new member
Nov 9, 2015 - 1:33 AM

Alright thank you!

Btw, can we purchase all the swiss transfer tickets at any station? Or do eg: Bern station only sells tickets from that station out only?

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
2657 posts
expert
Nov 9, 2015 - 1:38 AM in reply to bluesea888

<<"Btw, can we purchase all the swiss transfer tickets at any station? Or do eg: Bern station only sells tickets from that station out only?">>

Look at the ticket machine simulator that I linked to earlier for your study.

You will see that you can select starting point and finishing points, at any station, if that is what you mean by a "transfer ticket"....

Slowpoke

bluesea888
bluesea888
4 posts
new member
Nov 9, 2015 - 1:42 AM in reply to Slowpoke

ok thanks!

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