Both Geneva and Lausanne transport companies have recently introduced easy ways to buy tickets on public transport. Travellers just send an SMS (text message) to buy a ticket on their phones and voila! But be aware that you need to buy your ticket before you get on the bus, tram or metro. Gaming the system by buying in transit will end in tears when conductors check the time of purchase. You can buy several tickets at the same time as long as you travel with the people for whom you’ve bought.
In Geneva send a text: tpg1 for a full price 60 minutes ticket (CHF 3.50) or tpg2 for a half price 60 minutes ticket (CHF 2.50, for children and people with a demi-tariff) to 788. But note your SIM card must be with a Swiss provider.
In Lausanne, send a text: GL for a full price 60 minutes ticket (CHF 3.50) or GLR for a half price 60 minutes ticket (CHF 2.20, for children and people with a demi-tariff) to 456. Transport Lausanne does not stipulate that your SIM card should be with a Swiss provider, but don’t be surprised if that is in fact the case.
And the good news is that in both Geneva and Lausanne the cost of your SMS is borne by the transport company. For variations such as additional zones tariffs and terms and conditions, visit: t-l.ch and tpg.ch respectively.