A general abonnemation

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I finally gave in a few days ago and concluded that a GA was in my future. A GA, for those who don't know, is the General Abonnement of the Swiss public transportation companies. In other words, it's an annual pass for pretty much all of Switzerland's public transport operators - the ultimate transport nerd's fantasy. As a transport nerd, I therefore had no alternative but to get one.
The GA is a fairly large amount of money to drop in one lump. Looking at the figures, though, it's incredibly good value even if you aren't a daily traveller as even with a halbtax it's easy to spend the weekly cost equivalent of a GA in single tickets. Compared to the UK's insane fares it's a no-brainer - by my calculations, at today's exchange rate even a first class GA costs only two thirds of the price of a second class annual season ticket from Oxford to London - point to point, not even including the Tube.
And, of course, there's the transport nerd thing. Simply being able to hop on and off trains and buses (oh, and boats and various funiculars/cable cars/etc) makes that a lot more fun and allows the sort of "Let's go and see where I end up" day out that you just can't do if you're having to buy your tickets in advance. Being able to go anywhere without actually thinking about a per-journey cost is transport nirvana as far as I'm concerned.

The result of all this is that a couple of days ago I dropped into the travel centre at Z├╝rich Hauptbahnhof and bought me a GA. And yes, I have plans. Expect to see some "Day trips with a GA" posts here as I explore the depths of the Swiss transportation network in my spare time. I'll also write a bit more about the Swiss transport and ticketing systems in general.. someone has to, right?

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