How To Take Your Bike
on Swiss Public Transport
Buying Tickets and Useful Tips
Photo courtesy of SBB
Swiss public transport is fast, efficient and amazingly inter-connected. However, choosing the right ticket can sometimes be daunting. If you want to explore the region beyond Zurich on your bike, you sometimes need to take public transport to get there. You need to check which zone, which type of ticket and most importantly with your bike, what time of day or night. Here is NewInZurich’s guide on how to take your bikes on Swiss trains, buses and trams. If you need any tips on the best bike trips just outside Zurich then see our list here.
Buying a Ticket/ Reserving a bicycle space
The universal rule for short journeys with bikes is to treat them like they are “another passenger”. If you have a Halbtax or GA then you pay for a half fare ticket for the bike. If you are taking the bike long distances on the Swiss network then a bike day pass is recommended. All prices for transporting bikes by train can be found here.
Choosing the Right Train and Time is Key
When planning your journey, check that your train can carry bicycles. A special symbol is shown if they cannot. Also be sure to avoid peak time occupancy.
On S-Bahn local trains, bicycles can be taken onto the trains between 8am and 4pm and between 7pm to 6am on weekdays and at any time on Saturday and Sunday. Load your bikes at the doors which are marked by cycle symbols, usually at the end of the train.
On ICN services, reservations are mandatory and must be purchased before departure. Additionally, all IC trains that travel through the Gotthard Tunnel must be reserved. See your timetable to see if reservations are required. Click here for reservations.
All other IC, IR , RE and ICN trains may be used with a standard ticket.
With a normal train ticket for your bike you can use all ZVV trams and buses in Zurich. However, it is highly recommended to avoid travelling at peak times on the trams with bicycles as they can easily cause obstructions.
Postbus – Always Check First
Some Postbus services are unable to provide transport to bicycles, check their website to see if bikes can be taken on the service you want.
To create your perfect bike trip it’s a good idea to going to visit the SBB ticket office and speak with the staff. They can book specific tickets such as return travel from the end point of your cycling adventure. They can usually do it cheaper than the machines!
Article written by Jan de Boer
Jan is Comment Editor of the Award Winning Student Newspaper “Nouse“
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