Mobility and transport

Public transport in Vaud's towns and cities, and between the canton's regions, is well developed and highly efficient, to the point where you can do without a car altogether in many instances.

For international transport, please see "Infrastructure and transport".

Urban transport
  • Bus and trolleybus

Dense networks of bus and trolleybus routes serve the downtown and outlying areas in most the canton's bigger towns (Lausanne, Montreux, Vevey, Nyon, Morges, Yverdon-les-Bains and Aigle). A single journey costs between SFr2 and SFr3. Monthly and annual season tickets are very useful and save money for people who travel frequently. In Lausanne, a metro linking the lakeside at Ouchy with the heights of Epalinges is under construction, with completion slated for the end of 2008.

  • Taxi

Numerous taxis ply their trade in the cities. Their fares are clearly measured and indicated on meters. Many of the drivers understand English, especially in Lausanne. Payment is generally in cash, although some taxis also accept credit cards. Unlike other countries, it has hard to simply stop a taxi in the street; you can pick one up at any of several ranks through the city, notably outside the station, or by making a reservation by phone (refer to the telephone directories in your region for numbers). Here is a selection for Lausanne.

Typical prices in Lausanne:

    • CHF 6.20 pick-up charge 
    • CHF 2.60 (SFr3.20 from 10 pm to 6 am) per km in the city 
    • CHF 3.20 per km outside the city limits 
    • CHF 48.00 per hour waiting
    • CHF 1.00 for picking up luggage, skis, dog or pushchair
Regional transport
  • Trains

Fast regional trains serve most of the towns in the canton. Lausanne station acts as a hub for regional, national and international services. Numerous commuters use this network to go to work every day rather than drive. Season tickets for specific routes are available, as well as the General Abonnement offered by Swiss Federal Railways (providing free travel on all public transport in Switzerland) and the half-fare card, which gives a reduction of 50% on the price of train tickets. See information about train timetables and fares.

  • Boats

A public boat service runs on Lake Geneva, serving the main towns and cities along the shoreline as well as France (Evian, Thonon, etc). Here is a list of services and fares.
Boats also run on Lake Neuchâtel (more information).

Private car
  • Rental

Several car rental companies, include the major international agencies, operate in the canton, notably at Lausanne station. A company named Mobility offers a car-sharing service enabling you to make use of a car upon request at numerous points in any city in Switzerland (reservation by Internet or phone).

  • Safety

Speed limits:

    • In town: 30 - 60 km/h (18 - 37 mph)
    • Out of town: 70 - 80 km/h (44 - 50 mph)
    • Motorways: 100 - 120 km/h (62 - 75 mph)

Safety belts must be worn in both front and back seats.

  • Motorways

You have to obtain a toll sticker (vignette) if you want to use the motorways in Switzerland. They cost CHF 40.00 and can be bought from post offices and service stations. They allow you to use the motorways without limit until January 31 of the following year.

See also "Vehicle registration".