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Break Even Analysis of the Berner Oberland Regional Pass

Break Even Analysis of the Berner Oberland Regional Pass

May 8th, 2002, 11:55 AM
Bob Brown
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Break Even Analysis of the Berner Oberland Regional Pass

Recently there have been several questions about the Berner Oberland Regional Pass.
The big question about any pass is this:
Will the pass pay for itself?

The answer in this case is "YES it will, but you do have to use it." Here are the preliminary facts:
The 7 day, second class pass is 195 chf. It includes 3 "free days" with a general discount of 50% on the other 4 days. A few of the rides are discounted only 25%. The zone of coverage is extensive, reaching north to Bern and south to Zermatt. Two sections of the various rides covered by the pass are never free: Kleine Scheidegg to the Jungfraujoch and Mürren to the Schilthorn are at best 50% off.

I added up the potential savings I would get based on 5 likely round trips taken on a free day. Then I compared the savings with the cost of the 7 day pass.

Here are my figures in Swiss francs.

Lauterbrunnen - Kleine Scheidegg 46.60
KS -Jungfraujoch 49.50
Grindelwald - First 46.00
Lauterbrunnen - Mürren 19.60
Mürren - Schilthorn 31.10
Total 192.80

Cost of the Pass 2nd class 195.00

As you can see the pass savings on these rides bring me very close to the break-even point. Anything after that will be to my benefit.
For example, without the pass, the cost of the trip from Lauterbrunnen to Grindelwald via KS and return via the normal route is 61.60 chf. With the pass it is 0 if taken on one of my free days.
The question then becomes, would I be taking those rides anyhow? That is an imponderable based on the weather.

Perhaps I should post this question:
Will it rain on September 9 and 10 in Lauterbrunnen?

That is a very important question because, if it is cloudy and raining, I might as well not go.

May 8th, 2002, 01:20 PM
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It will sleet on Sept 11. Stay home.
May 8th, 2002, 01:22 PM
Melissa Bennett
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Thank You - it does sound like I will need the pass in the BO. Great analysis.
May 8th, 2002, 03:46 PM
al godon
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What does it cost to ride the bus from Grindelwald to Grosse Scheidegg??
May 8th, 2002, 03:58 PM
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Bob, You're THE MAN and I really appreciate you helping me and some of the other "newbies". The information is very helpful in trying to decide which is the right pass. I looked at the map and it didn't appear that the B.O.pass covers the train to Bern, although you mentioned that it does. Did I understand that correct? Denise
May 8th, 2002, 07:01 PM
Bob Brown
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If you look at the web site for the Berner Oberland Pass, dig down to Network. Then if you look just to the right of the town name "Chur" there is a "hot spot" for the detailed area of validity. Click where it says click here, and a very detailed map will appear.

Those lines of transportation that are included on free days are marked in red.
Note that a red line extends all the way to Brig. A red line extends as far as Thun and a black line continues on to Bern, which means you get a 50% reduction for your ticket. The black line extends as far as Hergiswil, just north of Sarnen toward Luzern. You can ride almost to Luzern for a discount.

This is why I have said several times that the choices among the various Swiss passes is bewildering. The number of possible combinations is staggering. For example, if you want to really dig into this thing, try to figure out the cheapest ride to Luzern!
You can get to Meiringen on a free day for no added cost. Then you can ride at almost half price most of the way to Luzern and back. You pay full price from Hergiswil to Luzern, which is 6 chf round trip. Half price round trip from Meiringen to Hergiswil is 17.20 chf.
So with the Berner Oberland pass on a free day, assuming you had amortized the cost earlier, you could make the round trip from Lauterbrunnen to Luzern for 23.20 chf, or about $15.00

People ask me "Isn't Switzerland terribly expensive?" Well, yes it can be. But if you check the cost carefully, you can avoid the heavy expenses. That is one reason why I stay in an apartment. My cost there is about $60.00 a day including taxes.
A hotel room would run about $120.
We shop the markets and prepare many of our own meals, which also helps contain contain costs. We have gotten to know the markets, and have learned that salmon comes into the meat market on Thursday. That is why the owner closes the shop on Wednesday. He is out buying!!
May 31st, 2002, 07:22 AM
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up we go
May 31st, 2002, 07:44 AM
Mr. Go
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Thanks Bob, you've done the legwork for me. Your analysis confirms what I suspected...it's a break-even proposition (our 4-day "to do" list is very similar to yours).

One question, though. Is there a convenience factor to be considered? In other words, is it significantly easier to use a pass than to queue up at a ticket counter each time? If so, does the convenience outweigh the flexibility (i.e. if it's raining, I'm not going)?

Should I just make this a "game day" decision?
Jun 20th, 2002, 08:27 PM
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same deal; here are some facts.
Jun 21st, 2002, 09:31 AM
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I wonder if you can make your two analyses part of the twenj pages? That would be a perfect place for them -- so we can easily direct travelers to that page for the info. I'm not sure if Julie or one of her friends would be able to make the addition -- but it might be worth a shot.

Jun 21st, 2002, 10:38 AM
Bob Brown
Posts: n/a
Thanks for the kind words.
I have no inside line to Ed's valuable pages. I posted my two sets of figures on Frommers where they seem to stick around longer, and have their own topic.

As a semi related comment, I also learned that I can order the Swiss Card directly from Switzerland with a credit card for financing. For some travelers this procedure might become an option because the card is not sold in Bern at the train station.

Passengers arriving on the TGV from Gare de Lyon in Paris, therefore, do not pass through one of the "entry" stations where the ticket is sold.

I think one drawback to posting the data is that it was done for me and I did not try to generalize it. I based the figures on what I personally might be doing.
If posted on Ed's and Julie's classic contribution, I think it needs more work.
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