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FAQs for passengers with reduced mobility.

Preparing for your journey

What does the SBB Call Center Handicap do?

  • Organises assistance for travellers with restricted mobility to board and alight from trains at support stations (stations with support facilities)
  • Provides information about access to the individual stations and trains
  • Provides general information about travel by people with disabilities using public transport
  • Organises standing orders


What is a support station?

A support station is a station with support facilities. It is fitted with a Mobilift (yellow hydraulic lift). It is possible to obtain assistance with boarding and alighting from trains there. A list of the support stations can be found at www.sbb.ch/en/station-services/passengers-with-a-handicap/sbb-call-center-handicap.html. This list is also published in the "Passengers with a disability" brochure (in German) for barrier-free travel.


How much advance notice is required for organising assistance with boarding and alighting?

  • One hour before the train departs. 2 hours in exceptional cases
  • 48 hours for international journeys
  • 24 hours for the email requests


Can I buy my tickets from the SBB Call Center Handicap?

No, the SBB Call Center Handicap does not sell any tickets. You can buy tickets:


I have booked assistance. Can I receive confirmation?

Verbal confirmation is all that is required as a definitive confirmation of your request. If you would like to receive confirmation via e-mail, please mention it directly to the SBB Call Center Handicap, and provide your e-mail address.


Can I buy an international ticket for travellers with disabilities (tariff TCV 710) and/or the seat reservation online?

No, the international ticket for travellers with disabilities (tariff TCV 710) and the seat reservation can only be purchased at the ticket counter or from Rail Service 0900 300 300 (CHF 1.19/min. from Swiss fixed-line network).


Where can I reserve space for people with disabilities on a train?

It is not possible to reserve a wheelchair space in the Swiss rail network.
For international travel, however, we would always recommend that you reserve a wheelchair space at your station or by calling Rail Service 0900 300 300 (CHF 1.19/min. from Swiss fixed-line network) at least 48 hours before departure.


How do I proceed with my luggage?

Mobility assistants will not carry any luggage. If you are capable of transporting your luggage yourself, the SBB Call Center Handicap can guarantee that you will be provided with assistance in boarding and alighting. For more information, refer to sbb.ch/baggage or contact Rail Service 0900 300 300 (CHF 1.19/min. from Swiss fixed-line network).


I've had a surgery and I need help to get home from the hospital. My difficulties with travelling are only temporary in nature. Can I call on the help of SBB Call Center Handicap?

Yes, you can call on our help even if you only have temporary difficulties with travelling; however, this is only for boarding and alighting from the train. Regarding getting someone to accompany you during your train journey, please contact COMPAGNA. This service is subject to payment.

Compagna Reisebegleitung
Eschenstrasse 1
9000 St. Gallen
Tel. +41 71 220 1607
info@compagna-reisebegleitung.ch
www.compagna-reisebegleitung.ch


I'm travelling with a walker-rollator. Can I request assistance from the SBB Call Center Handicap?

Like wheelchair users, people who use walker-rollators can reserve personal assistance. However, you too must also be capable of overcoming obstacles that wheelchair users can tackle independently, without the help of the service staff.
Important: when travelling with a walker-rollator, it is necessary to plan accordingly as regards sufficient interchange time at the transfer station. We cannot guarantee that you will be able to catch the regular connecting train for every connection. Please consider this aspect when preparing your journey.


What are the maximum dimensions for a wheelchair on the train?

  • Width overall 70 cm, length 120 cm, height 137 cm
  • The Mobilifts are designed to carry a load of 300kg

As a rule, no assistance can be provided for boarding and alighting with wheelchairs that are larger and/or heavier than this.
The list of permitted mobility equipment is published here: www.sbb.ch/en/station-services/passengers-with-a-handicap/wheelchair-walking-impaired.html.


My electric mobility scooter exceeds the maximum dimensions that are permitted for assistance with boarding and alighting. Am I allowed to travel nevertheless?

If you use a mobility vehicle that exceeds the specified maximum dimensions,assistance with boarding or alighting is generally not possible. Electric vehicles that might block access to the passenger coach because of their size are not allowed on board trains. 


Can I board the train with my Segway?

No. Use of Segways, quad bikes and vehicles with a combustion engine is prohibited both at railway stations and on trains. You can find information about transporting assistance equipment on trains here: www.sbb.ch/en/station-services/passengers-with-a-handicap/wheelchair-walking-impaired.html


I'm travelling with a special bicycle, should I buy a bicycle ticket?

Yes. If you are using a special bicycle such as a handbike, tandem, recumbent bike or tricycle and you have an identity card for passengers with a disability, you only have to buy a bicycle ticket. Bicycles with an overall length of more than 2 metres cannot be transported on long-distance trains. 


I have a disability and I want to contact a transport service for people with disabilities or a taxi company with cars that can transport wheelchairs. Where can I find the contact details?

A table with transport services for people with disabilities and taxi companies with cars that can transport wheelchairs is available at www.sbb.ch/en/handicap


How do I book assistance on the Glacier Express (MGBahn)?

In order to reserve assistance on the Glacier Express, SBB Call Center Handicap will need to know your date of travel, the train’s departure and arrival time and the number of your reserved seat.

You can purchase your ticket and seat reservation for the Glacier Express

  • by calling the Rail Service Helpdesk on 0900 300 300 (CHF 1.19/min. from the Swiss fixed-line network)
  • directly from the MGBahn booking office by calling 0041 (0)848 642 442 or sending an e-mail to railcenter@mgbahn.ch

Once you have this information, you simply need to call the toll-free number 0800 007 102 24 hours before your train leaves to reserve assistance with getting on and off the train.


How do I book assistance on the Bernina Express (RhB)?

In order to reserve assistance on the Bernina Express, SBB Call Center Handicap will need to know your date of travel, the train’s departure and arrival time and the number of your reserved seat.

You can purchase your ticket and seat reservation for the Bernina Express

  • by calling the Rail Service Helpdesk on 0900 300 300 (CHF 1.19/min. from the Swiss fixed-line network)
  • directly from Railservice RhB by calling 0041 (0)81 288 65 65 or sending an e-mail to railservice@rhb.ch

Once you have this information, you simply need to call the toll-free number 0800 007 102 24 hours before your train leaves to reserve assistance with getting on and off the train.

Online timetable

Which trains are composed of low-floor coaches?

The online timetable contains information about barrier-free access for each train journey. You can find more information about the online timetable at: www.sbb.ch/en/station-services/passengers-with-a-handicap/autonomesreisen/barrier-free-travel.html


The information given in the online timetable about barrier-free access is incorrect! I was on the platform and the train that arrived did not have any low-floor coaches, so I could not get on board. Why do you give incorrect information?

Information about low-floor trains cannot be guaranteed to be correct. If there is a breakdown, a replacement vehicle will have to be used which might not have a low floor. The online timetable is updated three times a day. Changes of rolling stock at short notice are possible.


Why does the online timetable show a question mark?

We regret that in some cases, information is not available from private railway companies or bus companies.


Is the information about barrier-free access on the online timetable reliable

Yes, the information is updated 3 times a day.

Group travel

Our travelling group includes a disabled person who uses a wheelchair. Can this person travel in our group?

Yes. When you book your journey, you should mention that a wheelchair user will be travelling as well. With this information, we can reserve seats in a passenger coach with a wheelchair compartment. At the same time, notify the SBB Call Center Handicap about your journey. Groups that include more than one wheelchair user can only be carried subject to certain conditions. The double-deck trains operated by Long-Distance Services allow groups to travel together (max. 10 wheelchair users). On board all other trains, groups may only be able to travel in different compartments or split across several trains, depending on the size of the group.

Assistance with boarding and alighting from trains

Who is responsible for assistance with boarding and alighting at the support stations (stations with support facilities)?

As a rule, assistance with boarding and alighting at the support stations is provided by the mobility assistants. In some cases, the task of providing assistance with boarding and alighting is undertaken by the train staff directly. They will reach you only shortly after the train pulls into the station. 


Are connections always guaranteed when changing trains?

Depending on the transfer distance and the assistance equipment involved, the minimum transfer times may not always be sufficient to ensure that you make your connecting train. Please note that SBB Call Center Handicap will only accept orders and schedule them if there is sufficient time to change trains. 


Is the train staff always informed about disabled passengers travelling on the train?

Yes. The train staff is always informed by SBB Call Center Handicap that travellers with disabilities are on the train. However, this is only the case if the customer has notified SBB Call Center Handicap.


Where is the meeting point for assistance with boarding and alighting?

The meeting point for assistance with boarding and alighting is always at the Mobilift on the departure platform, 10 minutes before departure.
On IC2000 (double-decker) trains, a wheelchair user should wait at the end of the train where the locomotive is. The locomotive will not always be at the head of the train. Information about the meeting point in other countries can be found at www.sbb.ch/en/station-services/passengers-with-a-handicap/international-traffic.html


Is my accompanying person allowed to handle the Mobilift or the folding ramp in the IC 2000?

No. At all stations that are not support stations (stations which do not have support facilities), private individuals are allowed to help with boarding and alighting. However, they are not allowed to handle the Mobilift or the folding ramp themselves.
SBB cannot accept any liability in the event of damage or accidents.


My girlfriend uses a wheelchair and I want to travel with her in the IC 2000 to Zurich. I've got a 2nd class GA travelcard. Am I allowed to travel with her in 1st class?

Yes. In InterCity tilting trains (ICNs) and in trains with double-deck coaches (IC 2000), the wheelchair compartment and a toilet accessible by wheelchair users are located in 1st class. If you are travelling as an accompanying person and your girlfriend has a companion card ("identity card for passengers with a disability"), then you are also allowed to travel in 1st class.

Travel discounts for passengers with a disability

What travel discounts are available for people with disabilities in public transport?

The travel discounts for passengers with a disability are published on our website at www.sbb.ch/en/handicap, at the following address: www.sbb.ch/en/station-services/passengers-with-a-handicap/travel-discount.html 


What is the identity card for passengers with a disability?

The "identity card for passengers with a disability" allows travellers with a disability (wheelchair users, people with restricted mobility, people with impaired vision and/or hearing, and mentally handicapped people) to be accompanied free of charge by an accomanying person or a guide dog, or both. For more information please visit: www.sbb.ch/en/station-services/passengers-with-a-handicap/travel-discount/id-card.html


Who can benefit from the travel discount in international traffic (tariff TCV 710)?

From 11.12.2016, the Disabled Passenger's ID Card allows all users (not only blind people, people with impaired vision or wheelchair users) to bring a travelling companion or guide dog free of charge (fare condition TCV 710).If a transport company applies market prices, then the international fare conditions TCV 710 will not apply. The prices and discounts are set by the particular transport company itself.


I'm going to be visiting Switzerland as a tourist, and I'm a wheelchair user. I've got identification documents for disabled travel that were not issued in Switzerland. Will I benefit from travel discounts in Switzerland?

No. You have an identification document for disabled travel that was not issued in Switzerland. You will not benefit from any concessionary fares when buying tickets in Switzerland. 


Is a foreign identity card for passengers with a disability valid in Switzerland?

No. A disabled person's ID card issued abroad will not entitle you to any discounts in Switzerland. 


Do I also have to pay a night supplement with the companion card?

Yes. The night supplement must be paid for each ticket for travel with the companion card.


I want to order a GA travelcard for the disabled. Will I receive the GA travelcard on the SwissPass?

Yes. From 1 August 2015, the GA travelcard for the disabled will only be available on the red SwissPass.


Where can I find general information about the GA travelcard for the disabled on the SwissPass?

More information about the GA travelcard for the disabled on the SwissPass is available from the following link: www.sbb.ch/en/travelcards-and-tickets/railpasses/ga/disabled.html


Where can I order my GA travelcard for the disabled?

You can order the GA travelcard for the disabled:

  • Online at: www.sbb.ch/en/travelcards-and-tickets/railpasses/ga/disabled.html
  • At the ticket counter
  • With the order form
  • By calling the Travelcard Helpdesk on 0848 44 66 88
    (Monday to Friday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.; standard tariff CHF 0.12/min., reduced tariff CHF 0.10/min., evening tariff CHF 0.0625/min. from the Swiss fixed-line network).


Can I still order a blue GA travelcard from 1 August 2015?

No, the GA travelcard for the disabled will only be available on the SwissPass from 1 August 2015.


What is the cost of a GA travelcard for the disabled on the SwissPass?

You can decide whether you would like to pay for your GA travelcard annually or monthly. The GA travelcard for the disabled costs:

Annually:
CHF 2,370 for 2nd class
CHF 3,870 for 1st class

Monthly:
CHF 345 for 2nd class
CHF 220 for 1st class


How can I find out whether my SwissPass with the GA travelcard for the disabled is still valid?

If you have a GA travelcard with an annual bill, we will remind you of the optional cancellation deadline in good time before your travelcard is automatically renewed. You will receive this reminder with your annual invoice.

  • You can subscribe to receive an e-mail or SMS reminder of this deadline online in your customer account at www.swisspass.ch.
  • You can obtain all the necessary information by calling the Travelcard Helpdesk on 0848 44 66 88 (Monday to Friday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.; standard tariff CHF 0.12/min., reduced tariff CHF 0.10/min., evening tariff CHF 0.0625/min. from the Swiss fixed-line network).


Is the identity card for passengers with a disability integrated into the SwissPass?

No, the identity card for passengers with a disability will still only be available in paper form from the cantonal offices as before. You can find out more about the identity card for passengers with a disability at www.sbb.ch/en/station-services/passengers-with-a-handicap/travel-discount/id-card.html


Identity card for passengers with a disability (companion card) in combination with other travel discounts.

In general, the following rule applies: at least one person must have a valid ticket.

Example A.
Companion card and Half-Fare travelcard on the SwissPass = one half-price ticket is sufficient

A person with a disability holding a companion card is travelling with another person holding a Half-Fare travelcard. The passenger with the disability travels free of charge and their travelling companion buys a half-price ticket.

Example B.
Companion card and a GA travelcard on the SwissPass = the GA travelcard is sufficient

A person with a disability holding a companion card is travelling with another person holding a GA travelcard. The passenger with the disability travels free of charge and their travelling companion travels using the GA travelcard.

Example C.
Companion card, Half-Fare travelcard on the SwissPass and a Junior travelcard = a half-price ticket is sufficient

A parent holds a Half-Fare travelcard. He is travelling with 2 children. One child has a Junior travelcard. The other child uses a wheelchair and holds a companion card. The parent is required to buy a half-price ticket, while both children can travel free of charge. The Junior travelcard is only valid in combination with a valid ticket.


My Disabled Passenger’s ID Card expires on 31 December 2016. How can I renew it?

“Disabled Passenger’s ID Cards 2013–2016” (also known as “companion cards”) will expire at the end of 2016. The renewal process is very simple. ID cards for 2017–2020 will still be valid for four years and will be issued in paper form.

The competent cantonal offices will be able to distribute the new ID cards from the start of October 2016. The current list is available here:

http://www.sbb.ch/bahnhof-services/reisende-mit-handicap/fahrverguenstigung/ausweiskarte-behinderung.html

The PDFs at www.sbb.ch/handicap are all accessible (they can be read by blind and visually impaired people using a screen reader).

Renewing your ID card is very simple:

Under Travel Discount at www.sbb.ch/handicap you can download the “doctor’s note for passengers with disabilities” from the column on the right called “Downloads”.

Ask your doctor to complete and sign the doctor’s note.

Remember to sign the doctor’s note yourself.

Attach a passport photo.

Send the passport photo and the completed doctor’s note to the cantonal office.

Detailed information can be found at www.sbb.ch/handicap under Travel Discount. The renewal process is explained in simple language under “Easy-to-Read”.

For enquires and information, please write to handicap@sbb.ch.

Ticket machines

I am blind. Can I buy a ticket at a ticket machine?

Yes. If you are blind or have a visual impairment, dial the number 0800 11 44 77. Tell the SBB ticket machine helpline the number of the ticket machine you are using; you can find this in touch-legible writing above the screen. The SBB ticket machine helpline will help you choose the right ticket and if requested, it will select the required product on the ticket machine for you through remote control. You can then pay the ticket directly at the ticket machine, where it will also be printed as usual. The SBB ticket machine helpline is open every day, 24 hours a day.

Contact  

SBB Call Center Handicap
0800 007 102 
Toll-free in Switzerland 
(from 6 to 22) 

Direct dial from abroad: 
+41 (0)51 225 78 44 

mobil@sbb.ch

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