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I am a big fan of Geneva’s public transport system. Though the Genevois love to complain about it, I seem to recall the TPG (Transports Publics Genêve) rated the best system in Switzerland.

In addition to being able to get anywhere in Geneva, the public transport system is easy to use. First, nearly every bus and tram has a TV monitor and a voice system which announces the next stop and any connecting transport at that stop. Secondly, in February the TPG introduced a method of buying tickets by SMS; and lastly, every bus and tram is equipped with a GPS system that calculates real-time arrival estimates that you can access with your smartphone.

Ticket Purchas by SMS

Have you noticed these blue and yellow signs popping up at all the bus stops?

Bus Ticket by SMS

If you are a sporadic bus passenger with a Swiss mobile phone, this is a great service for you. You can buy a one hour bus pass by sending the text message “tpg1” to the phone number 788. Or, if you have a Swiss train demi-tarif card, send the message “tpg2” to the phone number 788. TPG SMS Message

A text message will immediately be sent back to you which is your ticket. It gives the time for which your ticket is valid as well as the amount that will be charged to your phone (CHF 3.50 full price, CHF 2.50 reduced).

I recently received my phone bill and my bus tickets showed up under the heading SMS Premium.


TPG Smart Phone App

No more excuses missing the bus. This smartphone app shows the nearest bus stops, when the buses will arrive, traffic information and a way to “get directions” by entering start and finish locations, as well as the desired departure or arrival time.  The resulting list of directions even includes estimated walking times.


More Information

There are several tips and tricks that are handy to know when you use the Geneva Public Transport System. As soon as I have confirmed some rumors that I have heard but not seen in print, I will update Lauren’s Blog, “How to Ride the TPG,” from August 2012.

Alternatively if you need information now about the various day, month and yearly passes, the TPG and CFF (Swiss Train group) have a very useful pdf brochure in English.

We are a group of international women living in Geneva, Switzerland.  If you would like to join the AIWC, please visit our website at http://www.aiwcgeneva.org/