SBB ticket price & counter ticket price - same?

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daifei888
daifei888
41 posts
active member
Jul 4, 2018 - 3:04 AM

Hi all,

I have done a cost comparison table (thanks to the "Rail Pass Calculations" template provided) to find out if it is cheaper to buy a Swiss Half-fare Card or to buy a Swiss Travel Pass (for 8 days).

As I will only be staying for 6 days, I found out that all my transportation expenses using the Swiss Half-fare Card will be cheaper by around 120CHF/person compared to using the Swiss Travel Pass.

My questions:

1) I have been using SBB website to check the individual train ticket for each ride. Will it be more expensive if I purchase the actual tickets on the spot at the counter? If yes, then the price difference (betw having a SHFC & STP) may not be as huge as 120 CHF.

2) To me, the benefit of having the STP is I do not have to queue up and purchase all the train tickets at the counter. But regardless of using a STP or a SHFC, we still have to queue up to buy those discounted mountain rides. So, my general question is - for those normal trains (not mountain hikes), do I need to queue up long to buy the tickets (at half fare ) if I were to use the SHFC? If the queue is normally long, I would rather spend more on STP to avoid the waiting.

Looking forward to some tips from you guys.

Thanks,

daifei888

Lucas
Lucas
9632 posts
expert &
moderator
Jul 4, 2018 - 6:22 AM in reply to daifei888

Hi daifei888,

  1. Prices won't change no. so online, on the SBB app or at the counter are all the same price.
  2. You could also buy tickets at ticket machines at the station or download the SBB mobile app, sign up for an account and buy your tickets on your phone whenever you have WiFi. You may want to look at a WiFi hot spot for your trip if that is something you want to do: https://www.myswissalp s.com/simcard
  3. I much prefer the convenience of the Swiss Travel Pass (https://www.myswissalp s.com/swisstravelpass) but at a 120chf per person cost savings...that might be hard to ignore. :)
Last modified on Jul 4, 2018 - 9:24 AM by Arno
daifei888
daifei888
41 posts
active member
Jul 4, 2018 - 6:35 AM

Hi Lucas,

Thanks again for your valuable info!

Impactedmind
Impactedmind
33 posts
active member
Jul 4, 2018 - 4:12 PM in reply to daifei888

The staffed tickets counters are almost empty so you can buy there as well without any issues ..

Lucas
Lucas
9632 posts
expert &
moderator
Jul 4, 2018 - 6:51 PM in reply to Impactedmind

Do note they aren't always empty! :) I've waited a long time in Zurich for help when needed.

daifei888
daifei888
41 posts
active member
Jul 5, 2018 - 3:10 AM

thanks for the additional info.

Btw, are those individual tickets that we buy online locked at a fixed time or those tickets are valid for maybe 24-hour?

This is so that if the time is not fixed, I can purchase them online and do not need to worry if I miss the exact train at the specified time.

The long queue may not work for me as some of the connecting rides are within very short period (just a few minutes) so I might miss the next train after I get off from the previous train.

Or can I purchase the "whole-journey" ticket at the starting point/first station all the way until the last destination even though there are 1 or 2 transfers in between?

120CHF x 2 for 2 persons is quite a big sum of money to me though. It is close to 1000 bucks in my currency.

daifei888
daifei888
41 posts
active member
Jul 5, 2018 - 3:14 AM

One more question:

- Are there ticket machines at ALL stations? If yes, how is the queue / time needed to purchase tickets from the machines during Sept 14-19? Any holidays in Switzerland during this period which may cause a huge crowd when buying the tickets?

thanks,

daifei888

rockoyster
rockoyster
4027 posts
expert
Jul 5, 2018 - 3:52 AM in reply to daifei888

If you buy a ticket from A to B which are you start and end point for a given day you can get off the train at any point and resume your journey later. A point to point ticket is valid for 24 hours. You can have as many breaks in the journey as you like.

The only tickets that are fixed to a certain train are Supersaver Tickets.

daifei888
daifei888
41 posts
active member
Jul 5, 2018 - 5:00 AM in reply to rockoyster

Thanks Rockoyster, this is super useful information!

Questions:

1) In this case, do you recommend if I purchase all the standard individual tickets online (not the Supersaver tickets) prior to arriving in Switzerland? I am pretty sure I will take these routes on these selected dates (only the time on each day may not be fixed)? It seems to me that I can get close to CHF 120/person of saving if I buy a Swiss Half Fare Card + buy standard individual tickets as compared to buying a Swiss Travel Pass. Another good thing about Swiss Half Fare Card is I can get 50% discount for the Jungfraujoch mountain rides as compared to only 25% with Swiss Travel Pass.

2) If I buy all these standard individual tickets online, do I just need to print out the PDF tickets and then keep them with me. I can immediately get on to the trains without needing to validate these tickets, and only show/evidence to the train conductors upon their audit? If so, there is no difference to me using a STP or SHFC + online train tickets, am I right?

Thanks,

daifei888

Last modified on Jul 5, 2018 - 5:02 AM by daifei888
rockoyster
rockoyster
4027 posts
expert
Jul 5, 2018 - 5:35 AM in reply to daifei888

Hi daifei888,

When I travelled last year I had the Swiss Travel Pass so did not have the same problem.

I don't know that I would buy all tickets ahead of time. You need to allow some flexibility for change of plans, weather etc.

If you have the SBB Mobile App on your smartphone you can store the tickets on there and just show that to the inspector (along with your printed Swiss Half Fare Card). Or if you are not comfortable with that you can print tickets.

" I can immediately get on to the trains without needing to validate these tickets, and only show/evidence to the train conductors upon their audit? If so, there is no difference to me using a STP or SHFC + online train tickets, am I right?"

Yes you are right. The big advantage of the STP is the flexibility and convenience it offers. Especially useful for people like me who don't like to plan ahead in too much detail.

Lucas
Lucas
9632 posts
expert &
moderator
Jul 5, 2018 - 5:59 AM in reply to daifei888

Hi daifei888,

Yes, there are ticket machines at all stations. I can't tell you how many people may be in line at a machine in September though. :)

Do note if you buy all tickets ahead of time then just be sure you will travel on those dates or you need to buy them again. :)

daifei888
daifei888
41 posts
active member
Jul 5, 2018 - 6:18 AM

Thanks again rockoyster and Lucas. Both of you have been extremely helpful! :)

I think I will get a SHFC and purchase some intercity tickets online at 50% discount (not for all rides, to allow some change of plan due to weather, if any).

But I will still watch out if there is any promotion for STP :)

daifei888
daifei888
41 posts
active member
Jul 5, 2018 - 6:27 AM

Hi rockoyster and Lucas,

For Swiss Half Fare Card, I did not see Grindelwald First Cable Car ride in the 50% discount list.

Do we get 50% discount for that ride using a SHFC?

www.myswissalps.com/sw isshalffarecard/validi ty

Lucas
Lucas
9632 posts
expert &
moderator
Jul 5, 2018 - 6:37 AM in reply to daifei888

Yup. We can't list everything on our list but you can see the route on the PDF Map on your link. all solid and dotted lines are 50% off with the Swiss Half Fare Card on that map.

daifei888
daifei888
41 posts
active member
Jul 5, 2018 - 2:01 PM

Got it. Thanks again Lucas :)

daifei888
daifei888
41 posts
active member
Jul 5, 2018 - 2:56 PM

Hi all,

I am looking at the "Zermatt to Chexbres-Village" train ticket on SBB.

It shows 2 transfers/changes of train at Visp & Vevey before arriving at Chexbres-Village.

I understand that Montreux is in between Visp & Vevey.

If I purchase the "Zermatt to Chexbres-Village" train ticket via SBB online, can I get off the train at Montreux (before it arrives at Vevey), and then get on to another train from Montreux to Vevey and then finally to Chexbres-Village?

Or if I have to get off the train at Montreux station, I must buy 2 separate tickets:

1) Zermatt -> Visp -> Montreux

2) Montreux -> vevey -> Chexbres-Village

Thanks,

daifei888

Lucas
Lucas
9632 posts
expert &
moderator
Jul 5, 2018 - 3:29 PM in reply to daifei888

You can use the same ticket and just get off at Montreux yes. The ticket is valid all day (except the discounted supersaver tickets). You'll see those trains on the timetable with a % sign sometimes.

daifei888
daifei888
41 posts
active member
Jul 5, 2018 - 3:59 PM in reply to Lucas

Thanks Lucas for confirming :)

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