Geneva “Mouettes” – commute in style!
If you work in Geneva, then you are most likely aware of the hell that can break loose during peak traffic hours. If you travel by car (in which case be thankful to have your own private space), then you are familiar with the incessant stop-start mode and resulting calf muscle work-out, whilst tolerating the congested roads with clenched teeth. If you are a public transport tram or bus user, you know you will find yourself stuck with fellow passengers in confined spaces. In most cases these fellow commuters have overcome their frustration, learned to live with the situation, and now dismiss it with a sigh and a shrug; this is how it is… Of course in reality – and compared to other cities, Geneva is not that bad…let’s give it some credit.
And there is an alternative! One that may be easily forgotten, often associated with leisure or tourism, but perfect to avoid traffic if its routes fit with your daily back and forth routine: the “Mouettes genevoises” (lit. Geneva seagulls). Operational all year round since 2004, six shuttle boats offer four routes that cross the lake, covering 4.3km. For example, if you work in Eaux-Vives but live near Cornavin, you can walk down to the Pâquis stop (opposite the Kempinski), hop on the M2 that comes by every 10-15 minutes, and hop off five minutes later at the Eaux-Vives stop. Obviously, the boat routes operate weather permitting…
This really is a great alternative, a breath of fresh air on your typical Monday. Grab a seat on one of the boats, either sheltered from the wind in the back or out in the open towards the front (you generally have both options). Close your eyes, listen to the small waves breaking, to the seagulls screeching, and let your mind drift…a short moment of escapism to recharge your batteries. It feels great. Of course, if neither of the routes correspond to your daily commute, the Mouettes offer an ideal transport alternative in times of leisure during the summer season, where they have proven very popular amongst work commuters and tourists alike.
Now is the perfect time to get started! The summer season officially starts on April 1st – the boats run from 7.00-7.30 until 20.30-21.00, depending on the route. In addition, the Mouettes have partnered with the TPG and therefore any Unireso ticket works for them. Even better, there is a cheaper ticket version called “saut de puce” (lit. flea jump) that costs just 2.-. It was specifically created for the Mouettes and covers the cost of one crossing. Available on all ticket machines.
Below are the four routes. For more detailed information, check out the official website:
M1 : Pâquis – Molard
M2 : Pâquis – Eaux-Vives
M3 : Pâquis – Genève Plage/Port Noir
M4 : Châteaubriand – Genève Plage/Port Noir