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Questions about the Swiss Half Fare Card

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Posts: 8 
Mbeaulieu726
Mbeaulieu726
5 posts
new member
Apr 27, 2021 - 5:56 PM

I have a few questions regarding the half fare card.

1. Can I buy this pass when we arrive at the Zurich airport or can I buy ahead of time at home--USA?

2. How do we use this for local buses? Do we buy tickets for the bus or do they scan something?

3. We will need to take a train from the airport to Interlaken to Lauterbrunnen. Do I but these when we arrive in Zurich?

Thank you!

Anna
Anna
1048 posts
top member &
moderator
Apr 27, 2021 - 6:53 PM in reply to Mbeaulieu726

Hi Mbeaulieu726,

Yes, you can buy the Swiss Half Fare Card from the Zürich Airport railway station. You can also purchase the card in advance from various point of sales as listed on this link: www.myswissalps.com/swisshalffarecard/price

Instructions on how to use the card are explained here: www.myswissalps.com/swisshalffarecard/howtouse

Basically, when you have the Swiss Half Fare Card, you only pay 50% of the price of regular tickets. Tickets can be purchased from any SBB ticket machine or railway station, or online (www.myswissalps.com/traintickets/switzerlandhalffare) or through the Mobile SBB app. More information about how to use the SBB timetable and link to the SBB website are available here: www.myswissalps.com/timetable

If you are not familiar with the Swiss public transportation, you can find useful and practical tips here: www.myswissalps.com/train/practical/howtotravel

Hope this was helpful!

Regards,

Anna

Last modified on Apr 28, 2021 - 7:11 AM by Arno
Mbeaulieu726
Mbeaulieu726
5 posts
new member
Apr 27, 2021 - 7:00 PM in reply to Anna

So I am able to purchase the pass from home before leaving the US. Will I be able to book the ticket from ZRH airport to Interlaken using that half fare pass (from home)? And, will I be able to purchase our ticket from Interlaken to Basel (SBB) using that half fare card (from home)? Sorry for all the trivial questions but this is all new to me and somewhat confusing! We are headed to Paris from Basel and I have absolutely no problem navigating the Paris metro and trains lol. Thanks for the response!

Anna
Anna
1048 posts
top member &
moderator
Apr 27, 2021 - 7:35 PM in reply to Mbeaulieu726

Hi again,

Yes, you can purchase the tickets in advance. Choose the Half Fare option for the discounted tickets. There is no need to key in your Swiss Half Fare Card number or reference. When you travel, just make sure you have the Swiss Half Fare Card with you along with valid tickets, as you may be asked to present them during random checks on the train.

Happy to help if you have further questions.

Regards,

Anna

Last modified on Apr 28, 2021 - 6:05 AM by Annika
pkerr
pkerr
187 posts
active member
Apr 28, 2021 - 1:38 PM in reply to Mbeaulieu726

Just to add on to what Anna said, I was in your position a couple of years ago. Same questions actually just to different locations.

Go to the SBB WEB site and start looking at times when you want to leave the airport. You'll have different options and price points depending if you want to book a specific train, class, etc. You book and indicate you have a 1/2 fare card and you are set to go. While we traveled for a week, we were asked a couple of times to show our 1/2 fare card (I had it on my phone) From what I understand, if you are traveling on a half fare ticket and don't have the card, the fines are pretty stiff.

Mbeaulieu726
Mbeaulieu726
5 posts
new member
Apr 28, 2021 - 1:57 PM in reply to pkerr

pkerr...it will be my sister and I. Will we each have the half fare card on our phone or because I am buying them will both be on my phone? Thanks!

pkerr
pkerr
187 posts
active member
Apr 28, 2021 - 2:15 PM in reply to Mbeaulieu726

You can have both of them on your phone. I did that when my wife and I travelled. Obviously, you want to make sure you are always together when traveling in case she gets asked, you have the docs. I also had them printed out on paper... just in case. Always nice to have a backup.

Lijianhughes
Lijianhughes
15 posts
new member
May 5, 2021 - 1:13 AM

Buy the half fair cards in advance through SBB website not other resellers, it should cost 120 CHF each. Save them on your phone and show them to the inspector when asked. You can save both of them and all your SBB tickets on one phone, that's not an issue but just make sure the phone is always charged...or prepare a few pieces of printed copies as backup.

On the other notes the SBB tickets are very easy to buy through the mobile APP, a few clicks then there you'll go. I would buy them in the morning before I leave my hotel coz there might be some discounted price for a specific train only compared to other higher price tickets that allow you to take any train of the day.

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