The marker of a conscious traveller is one who opts for public transport wherever possible, and the super-efficient Swiss Travel System makes this task a breeze. As we gear up to usher in International Day of Public Transport—celebrated annually on the first Saturday of March—we look at what makes Switzerland’s public transport a role model to follow. By Bayar Jain
Switzerland’s stellar public transport network—The Swiss Travel System (STS)—is dubbed as the world’s densest and most effective public transport system. Not only is it synced with other public transport dotted all over the nation (buses, trains, boats, cable cars, and the likes), but it is also designed to assure every passenger gets a hassle-free experience. That aside, there are many more reasons that make STS the world’s most efficient public transport system. Here are some:
1. Comfort with a view
Irrespective of the mode of transport one opts for in Switzerland, panoramic views will greet travellers at every turn, making every journey memorable. Moreover, STS doesn’t skimp out on comfort either. Whether it is the country’s dreamy trains or boats floating on serene blue waters, each is designed to allow for enough leg-room and space to accommodate large luggage. Plus, onboard restaurants offering Swiss delicacies add to the experience!
2. No more luggage woes
With STS, one doesn’t need to stress about lugging their belongings from one place to another. Upon request, travellers—including international ones—can have their luggage transported from one hotel to another. Moreover, one can even deposit their luggage at safe lockers at various stations across the country, or easily stow it along while journeying from one destination to another.
3. Amenities galore
Swiss train stations are equipped with a bouquet of shopping and catering facilities to make up for the time lost in transit. Moreover, commuters who require special services—such as low floor access, platform lifts, or even boarding or disembarking services—can avail them hassle-free.
4. It’s all about the journey
They say the journey is more important than the destination, but STS in Switzerland truly believes it. Rather than simply ferrying passengers from destination A to B, the network is designed to recreate an entire experience. Take the Bernina Express or the Glacier Express, for instance. Both come with ceiling-high windows so onboard passengers can enjoy the country’s idyllic vistas from within the compartments. When on water, travellers can choose from historic steamboats, cosy yachts, or even modern catamarans. Those looking for a unique experience can dine in a cable set up on a cableway at the Restaurant in the Sky; enjoy the world’s steepest cog railway; ride up to Mount Titlis on the world’s first revolving aerial cableway, or even hop on to chocolate or cheese trains!
5. Time is precious
It’s no surprise that the Swiss are known as the timekeepers of the world; even their public transport system works like clockwork! Known to never delay, it is widely believed that even domestic travellers prefer to use the integrated Swiss Travel System every chance they get. Moreover, the network allows for an all-in-one ticket or a Swiss Travel Pass, which gives guests unlimited access to rail, road and waterways throughout the nation.