How does SBB's replacement for the Gemeinde Day Pass work?
From January 2024, local councils in Switzerland will no longer sell their cut-price public transport tickets. Here’s what you need to know about the replacement for the scheme: the new Saver Day Pass for Communes (Spartageskarte Gemeinde, carte journalière dégriffée Commune, Carta giornaliera risparmio Comune).
Swiss municipal travel tickets to be replaced from 2024
As of the start of the year, Swiss Federal Railways (SBB) and Alliance SwissPass will no longer allocate a set number of cut-price public transport tickets to individual councils. Under the previous system, travellers were able to apply for these tickets in advance with their local authority.
The passes cost 40 francs each and granted unlimited second-class travel on public transport in Switzerland for 12 hours. While not as generous as cut-price tickets in other countries, most notably the Deutchlandticket, the pass was typically the cheapest way to travel long distances on Swiss trains, buses, trams and boats. For reference, a second-class one-way ticket between St. Gallen and Geneva, with a half-fare travel card (Halbtax-Abo), costs up to 56,50 francs.
Meet the Saver Day Pass for Communes: The replacement for the Gemeinde Tageskarte
With the new Saver Day Pass for Communes, also known as the Municipal Saver Day Pass, all local council deals will be consolidated into one offer. Unlike the previous system where travellers were restricted to purchasing passes from their local council (if they were participating in the scheme at all), everyone should be able to buy the tickets, regardless of where they live.
You do not have to prove that you live in a certain Gemeinde, nor be subject to any quota per local area. Instead, all Saver Day Passes will be issued as part of a nationwide pool. What's more, unlike the pass given directly by local councils, there is no limit to the number of tickets that can be bought each week.
Simply visit the official website, find a day which still has passes available and buy them via a participating local council. For the majority, this will mean visiting their offices (as listed on the website), but some councils do allow you to buy the tickets online. As of January 5, only a limited number of participating councils are listed on the website, but more will be added over time.
What can I do with the Swiss Municipal Saver Day Pass?
The pass will grant 24-hour access to the public transport network in Switzerland. In a set of new changes, travellers can choose if they want a first or second-class ticket, and the pass also considers whether you have a half-fare travel card (Halbtax-Abo), with cardholders able to benefit from a lower price.
How much does the Saver Day Pass cost?
Instead of a flat 40 franc per-day fee, the new Saver Day Pass rewards travellers for planning ahead, as the ticket gets cheaper the further you book in advance - tickets can be bought up to six months in advance. For passes purchased between one and nine days ahead of time, the prices are:
- Halbtax second class: 59 francs
- Halbtax first class: 99 francs
- Full price second class: 88 francs
- Full price first class: 148 francs
For tickets booked 10 days or more in advance, the prices are:
- Halbtax second class: 39 francs
- Halbtax first class: 66 francs
- Full price second class: 52 francs
- Full price first class: 88 francs
Once the ticket is purchased, it needs to be presented as either a printed document, PDF or QR code on your mobile phone, alongside an ID, and a Halbtax if you chose a half-fare ticket.
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