Swiss Public Transport Etiquettes

Ipsita Barua

Using the tram, bus or train is the norm here. Not because you don’t drive or own a vehicle, but because it’s convenient, efficient and you can calculate on your apps the exact times of departure and arrival. I always wonder why can’t they they round off the timings instead of 11:21 or 14:52. But they are reliable like everything Swiss.

From taking us through the city to chugging us through World Heritage viaducts and drool-worthy landscapes, a lot of hard work goes into maintaining this clockwork public transport system. So it’s only natural that when you are on one of the most efficient public transport in the world, there’s an etiquette that’s respected on board.

Unsaid or not written but expected.

Always ask whether it’s okay to sit next to someone

It’s politeness and some people prefer to have the double seats to themselves because of the current situation. So if they are seated already, just a polite ‘May I’ has never been refused.

Refrain from opening up food items with strong smells

Unless you are seated in the restaurant for a long commute train, it’s never pleasant to sit near someone who opens up a can of tuna for lunch. Because it’s a closed space. A salad or a sandwich is good on the go, but anything that might taste amazing but make others run for cover is a strict no, no. Crunching loudly, guzzling unabashedly is not what your fellow commuters are looking forward to. And please dispose of your food packets or drink cans properly in the bins provided or carry with you for recycling .

My Swiss Story Swiss Public Transport Etiquettes Image: Google source SBB

Don’t talk loudly on the phone

We all use that commute time time to catch up on our missed calls or family calls. You might have your headphones but please remember everyone else around you can hear you. And in a country where silence is much practiced, this could be quite annoying.

Keep pets away

Small dogs are required to be in pet bags during commute. If you have bigger dogs (other than service or help dogs) you should understand that not everyone is pet friendly in a tight space. Keep them confined with their comfort but with consideration to fellow passengers.

Don’t occupy seats with bags

In peak hours, people need to have a seat. Please don’t keep your bag on a seat or sprawl out and deny someone that comfort of travelling seated. If it’s a small bag, keep it on your your lap or underneath your seat. For bigger ones use the overhead bag compartments or the open space near the door.

My Swiss Story Swiss Public Transport Etiquettes Image: Google source SBB

With comfort, convenience and even play areas for children, we have a lot to be thankful to ZVV and SBB for the seamless service they provide. It’s upon us to respect this and be cordial co-passengers whenever we take public transport.


To read posts from August, click here

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