Swiss rail is great and worth the money


Living in Switzerland, I often take our rail system for granted. It usually takes an outsider to remind me how lucky we are to be living in a country with functional public transportation.

During breakfast this morning, a visiting American friend voiced his amazement at the efficiency of Swiss rail. Not only did he laud Swiss rail's online timetable, he couldn't believe it actually indicated the arrival and departure platforms ahead of time.

During his trip from Basel to Gstaad, he had been worried about the short four-minute layover in Bern. When the time came to switch trains, he easily found his connecting train, thanks to presence of large platform numbers and destination signs.

For those of you who don't already use it, click here to access Swiss rail's super efficient timetable.

On a related note...

I read in the newspaper this past Friday that Switzerland's Transportation Minister Doris Leuthard had unveiled a proposal to increase the price of the annual highway vehicle sticker from the current 40 francs to 100 francs. Rail fares would rise by 10 percent. Leuthard said these increases were necessary to pay for railway infrastructure. These increases are planned for 2015 and are subject to a national referendum.

I love it! Motorists are to subsidize rail! Of course, Switzerland's right wing parties are squawking.

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