Taking Swiss Public Transportation With a Dog!
It’s going to be a short post today because when it comes to taking Swiss Public Transportation With a Dog, you’re in luck! The Swiss pretty much follow the same approach as their neighbours Italy and France.
First, though, let me tell you about the General Abonnement (GA) card. This travel card has a host of benefits. In addition to letting you take the train anywhere in Switzerland, the card also allows you to take the trams and buses in most Swiss cities. It’s all about convenience. You don’t have to worry about buying a ticket. You just hop and off as you please. One card and you’re set! Cost will depend on your age, on whether you choose a first or second class card, and if you have a physical disability. Details are available on the SBB website. You can get card packages for you and your friend/partner/spouse, the whole family, and even for your dog!
Taking the Train
Purchase the Day Card for big dogs (CHF 32.00 at the time this post was written) and your four-legged friend can travel with you anywhere and everywhere in Switzerland for an entire day. Small dogs travel free of charge if they are not more than 30 cm high (up to their shoulder blades) and are transported in a carrier, basket, or other suitable container. I mostly hung out in my sling bag and that seemed fine! The Day Card for Dogs may be used in either first or second class; however, the accompanying person must hold a valid ticket for the same class.
Alternatively, you can purchase a half-fare second class Swiss Travel System ticket for your dog. This ticket is also valid if you are travelling in first class.
If you plan to return to Switzerland with your pet and use public transport frequently over a long period of time, you may find it worthwhile purchasing an Annual Travel Card for Dogs. The price was CHF 720.00 at the time this post was written.
Taking the Tram
Both day tickets and single-trip tickets are available from the tram machines located at every stop. The day ticket is an excellent option if you plan to take more than two tram rides in a single day. We always chose this option. In Zurich, the day ticket also gave us access to the bus and boats.
Small dogs travel on the tram for free with the same rules as for trains applying. Big dogs get to ride the tramway at a half-adult ticket cost. You will find the dog ticket easy to find on the tram machines screen: just look for the little black doggy silhouette.
Taking the Bus
The Swiss postal buses and local buses require half-fare tickets for large dogs. Small dogs travel for free but always check with the driver.
Note: It is strictly forbidden to consume food and drinks on the trams and buses. Sadly, the operating company had to do something to get a handle on the garbage problem. Because some people don’t know how or choose not to take care on public transport, everyone is affected. *sigh*
Taking a boat/ferry/steamers: Require half-fare tickets for dogs. It is up to the Captain’s discretion whether the fare can be waved for small dogs in a carrier. Ask.
Taking the Subway/Metro
Small dogs ride for free just as on the tram and train. Big dogs require a half-fare adult ticket.
Normally pets are allowed on these transit vehicles, but there’s no uniform policy because mountain railways and cable cars are often privately owned. When in doubt, ask.
Note that with ALL transit, if your dog is ill behaved, aggressive, restless (jumping up), noisy, or smelly, you will be asked to get off. No refund. No if’s, and’s, or but’s about it. The Swiss do not tolerate any argument and you can find yourself in very serious trouble with the law if you try. You are better off getting off and trying to board the next bus/tram/train/boat.
And that is it, folks! You’ve got to love a country that is so very pet friendly! Are pets allowed on public transport where you live?