Hints for tickets

Train tickets

To buy your train ticket in Geneva or in any other train station, you can either:


  • use one of the machines (in English, French, Italian and German in the lower right area of the screens) that take Swiss francs, euros, or credit cards. For information, all public transportation tickets in Switzerland are priced according to the number of transportation zones you’re going to travel through or arrive in
  • go the SBB-CFF ticket/billet counter..
Get your train ticket (one way) to either Renens or Lausanne. Renens is on the way to Lausanne, but not all trains that go to Lausanne will stop in Renens. The ticket to Renens (via Morges) should cost about 23 Swiss Francs. Tickets to Lausanne should cost about 27 Swiss francs. Note that the ticket to Lausanne costs slightly more than Renens because you have to cross into another transportation zone.
To find your train, simply refer to one of train schedules posted, and very frequently updated, in the station. The destination of the train is found in all CAPS in the middle-right column of the schedule. The platform number (Voie) is in the far-right column. 
Departure times are in the far left column. In order to find your train, look for Renens or Lausanne in the middle-left column that includes all the stops that the train will make on its way toward its destination. Once you’ve found the appropriate time and platform number (Voie) for your train, just continue through the station and descend on the escalator that has your train’s information posted.

Important convenience and money-saving options

Carte Demi-Tarif:

This card allows you to get discounted transportation tickets anywhere you happen to go in Switzerland. When you have this card, you are able to select the ½ button on any of the ticket machines in Switzerland.
Subscriptions for this card are available in several convenient options, which can help you save money no matter the amount of time you plan to stay in Switzerland.
Information about this discount card can be found at the SBB CFF FFS (Swiss national railway) customer service counters at Lausanne train station.
Carte Mobilis:
The card is all about convenience because it acts as a prepaid train, bus, or underground/subway ticket, instead of having to buy a ticket every time you need to take public transport. You don’t always have to have a load of coins on your person for tickets. If a conductor asks to see your ticket, you only have to pull of this card and have him/her scan it.
The most convenient office is located at street level, Lausanne-Flon M2 undergound/subway station. Look for the “Point de Vente” sign.
Prices for this card depends on the number of transportations zones you want to include and the duration of time you want it to be valid. Your carte Demi-Tarif (1/2) discounts apply to carte Mobilis subscriptions, as well.
Note: Both the cartes Demi-Tarif and Mobilis require that you submit passport size photos for your personalized cards. You can either bring some extras with you from home, or you can use the machines located at Lausanne train station and at train level, Lausanne-Flon M2 underground/subway station.
Carte Galaxy:
This card can be purchased from any Transportation Lausanne Point de Vente office, and it acts as a prepaid card without the selection of transportation zones of the Carte Mobilis. Galaxy cards are available in ten, twenty, or fifty Swiss francs. Your Carte Demi-Tarif (1/2) applies to ticket purchases made with a Carte Galaxy, as well.
To pay with a Carte Galaxy, you just slide the card into the slot next to the coin slot on any of the ticket machines. The cost is automatically deducted. If your Galaxy card’s balance is running low, you can pay the remainder of your ticket’s balance with Swiss franc coins.
ALWAYS have a valid ticket on you while you’re using public transportation in Switzerland. If you get the Carte Demi-Tarif (1/2), make sure you always have it on your person, as well. You never know when or if the conductors will suddenly appear to check tickets, but the fines for not having a valid ticket are very expensive.