In July of 2013 we first wrote about the SBB Tageskarte, the fixed fee travel pass that allows you to make unlimited use of nearly all public transport in Switzerland for one day.
In this article we dig a little deeper into the different types of day travel passes, how they can be used, and where to get them.
What is it?
The SBB Tageskarte is a day travel pass, a special public transport ticket valid for one single person for one single day on most types of public transport in Switzerland.
The day travel pass is called Carte journalière in French and Carta giornaliera in Italian.
Where can I use it?
The day travel pass is valid on all routes where the GA travelcard is valid. This includes all national railway lines, most private railway lines, all postautos (the yellow buses), all regular buses, all trams, most boat lines, and some cable cars.
When can I use it?
A day travel pass is valid for one single day.
Some day travel passes are sold for a specific date (typically those available directly from the SBB and from the communes), while others are valid during a specific period, but need to be date stamped on the day that you will use them.
Who can use it?
In principle, everyone can use a day travel pass, including visitors from abroad who have no Swiss residence.
However, in some cases you need to be in possession of a half-fare travel card to be able to use a day travel pass. This requirement varies, so it is best to check the conditions of the specific day travel pass that you want to purchase.
Where can I buy it?
Day travel passes can be purchased from the SBB directly, or from resellers such as the commune of Luzern, Coop, and Die Post. Day travel passes from the SBB are always available but they tend to be the most expensive; day travel passes from the resellers are usually considerably cheaper, but are not always available and supply is usually (very) limited.
From the SBB
Regular day travel passes are available directly from the SBB website. They are valid for a specific date and cost CHF 73 each. If you’re travelling after 9:00 in the morning, you can get a discounted one for CHF 58. Other options, such as first class, or a travel pass for children (at CHF 16), are available.
Use of the regular SBB day travel pass requires possession of a half-fare travel card.
From the commune of Luzern
The commune of Luzern offers day travel passes for specific dates for CHF 45 each, 2nd class. Supplies are limited (20 per specific date) and tend to go fast, so it’s best to reserve them well in advance. After making your reservation, you will need to pick up and pay (in cash) for your day travel passes at the öko-forum, situated in Bourbaki.
Note that if you buy a day travel pass from a commune, you need to be a registered resident of that commune. You may be asked to present identification when picking up your day travel pass.
Use of a day travel pass purchased from the commune of Luzern does not require possession of a half-fare travel card.
From other communes
There is a website where you can reserve day travel passes in your commune. Prices vary, but tend to be between CHF 45 and CHF 50 per day travel pass. Don’t worry if your commune is not in the list: some communes have their own dedicated site (like Luzern).
From time to time, shops such as Coop and Die Post have promotions involving day travel passes. It’s best to check back once in a while to see if something’s on.
Prices correct at time of publication.