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Living in Geneva Switzerland – A Guide to Geneva Transport

Written By: Kirsten Micks

Living in Geneva Switzerland has always been a pleasure for many locals and expats alike. Being a global city for decades and housing many international organizations, the transport and utility systems has been managed to cater the many demands of its populace.

Geneva Transport

The Geneva Cointrin International Airport is the airport serving Geneva. It is connected with both the Swiss railway network SBB-CFF-FFS and the French SNCF network by Geneva Airport railway station (Gare de Genève-Aéroport in French). There are also direct connections to Paris, Marseille and Montpellier by TGV. Geneva is also connected to the motorway systems of both Switzerland (A1 motorway) and France.

The airport is connected to the main station of Cornavin by trains serviced by SBB-CFF-FFS in a mere 6 minutes. It then carries on to towns such as Nyon, Montreux, Lausanne, Neuchâtel, Sion, Berne, Sierre, etc. Regional train services are being progressively developed, towards Bellegarde and Coppet. Two new stations have been created at the city limits since 2002: Lancy-Pont-Rouge and Genève-Sécheron which is close to the Botanical Gardens and the UN.
Transports Publics Genevois (TPG) provides public transport, which is by bus, trolleybus or tram. The network covers most of the municipalities of the Canton, in addition to an extensive coverage of the city centre. A few lines also extends into France. Public transport by boat is run by the Mouettes Genevoises, which link the two banks of the lake within the city, and by the Compagnie Générale de Navigation sur le lac Léman (CGN). The CGN serves more distant destinations such as Yvoire, Nyon, Thonon, Lausanne, Evian and Montreux using both vintage paddle steamers and modern diesel vessels.

The CEVA (Cornavin – Eaux-Vives – Annemasse) project, which is supported by all parties in the local parliament, was first planned in 1884. It started in 2005, connecting Cornavin with the Eaux-Vives station, the Cantonal hospital and Annemasse, in France. With the link between the main station and the classification yard of La Praille already existing, from there, the line will go mostly underground to the Hospital and the Eaux-Vives. Then it will link up to the existing line to France.
Living in Geneva Switzerland without a car may be a burden. Taxis can be difficult to find, and may need to be booked in advance particularly in the early morning or at busy hours. Also, taxis can decline to take babies and children because of seating regulation.

An ambitious venture to close 200 streets to cars in the centre of Geneva has been approved in principle by the Geneva cantonal officials. As one Geneva council member states, “It’s not really to close 200 roads or streets in the center of Geneva, but to open 200 streets to improved life in the neighborhood.. 200 places for pedestrian life or relationships corresponds to 200 schools, kindergartens, or even every type of people at home. The idea is to concentrate these pedestrian zones near these places in order to protect the more fragile people, older people younger people. The small shops also need to have a real social life in order to have people coming.“. The implementation of this scheme is projected to be done in four years (2010–2014).
With this variety in the mode of transportation and its accessibility to different key places, living in Geneva Switzerland has always been the choice for many businessmen and expats.

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