Lots of places claim to be have multimodal transportation networks. Much of the time, the truth is that cars still dominate the system, but some accommodations are made for other modes of transportation. One of the first things that strikes you as you travel around the city of Geneva is that the system has developed to accommodate the transportation needs of all types of people. The transportation network in Geneva goes well beyond the “complete streets” we strive for in the U.S., rather, the entire transportation network can be said to be complete (albeit crowded!) in this European metropolis.
As one would expect for any large city, the automobile is the dominant mode. However, there is an obvious difference in the types of automobiles used by virtually everyone. And that is the size of the cars.Parking is very difficult in this town, which encourages people to opt for the train, bus, bike or walking, but for those who do drive, your best chance at parking is to drive a car like this one.
Public Transportation is – of course – also very popular in Geneva. The Transport Publique de Genève (TPG) is the primary public transportation system and offers both rail and bus service for commuters and for local mobility in and around the city.One interesting difference between the European system and the system most are accustomed to in the US is that in Europe, you purchase your ticket at the station, but no one ever actually asks to see it or takes it from you. I am told there is a steep fine for riding without a ticket, but for the dozen or so bus rides we have taken, there never appeared to be anyone interested in seeing our ticket.
And like most major cities, many people forego all mechanical modes of transportation altogether and travel around by foot. You can be anywhere in the heart of the city, at virtually any time of day, look around and you will see literally hundreds of people on foot, exploring the city, shopping, walking to or from work, or just out for a stroll.