Monday, October 8, 2012

planes, trains and automobiles.... or should I say trams, trains and buses (with the occasional ferry)

We have yet to receive our sea shipment which means we don't have a car yet. Our apartment is within a 5 minute walk of the bus stop. Tom takes the bus to the local "bahnhof" or train station. From there he goes into "the city" (Zurich) and walks a block or two. All told, it's between 30-40 minutes door to door. A big improvement from the 90 minute one way commute from Westfield to NYC. 


Train interior - just like NJ Transit? Not. 

Double-Decker trains which are the kind NJT has gradually been bringing into operation

I've learned my way around Horgen by way of the bus line. At first, I walked to town to get my bearings, sometimes riding the bus home. Now that places are becoming familiar, everything seems closer. I still walk sometimes for the exercise. 

Once getting into Zurich, there are loads of trams criss-crossing the city. I've ridden some of them, but I still need to repeat the venture to feel comfortable with which line goes where. 

One thing is consistent among the trams, trains and buses: the doors do not automatically open when the vehicle comes to a stop. There is a button that you must push to make them open. On buses and trams, you also need to communicate to the driver via another button that you want to exit at the next stop. If you forget, it will take you longer to get wherever you're going!

Tom bought an annual ticket that lets him ride any of the public transportation within the Zurich region. I have a monthly ticket for our side of the lake up to Zurich. After we get the car, I'll decide what kind of ticket I need to continue. I am told that parking in Zurich is difficult so I will probably keep some kind of frequent passenger ticket.

Our village of Horgen is directly across the lake from Meilen. Ferries cross the lake at regular intervals. They accommodate cars and pedestrians. People use the ferries to avoid driving all the way around the lake and also just for amusement. There are plenty of tour boats and party boats visible from our balcony. 

So much of the public transportation is based on the honor system. There are no conductors walking the aisles checking tickets. There is the occasional check and I believe a steep fine if you do not have a ticket. Swiss people like rules and they obey them.