Getting Around with Västtrafik
2011-01-14. Published in
Here is an introduction to using Gothenburg’s public transportation systems, including buses, trams, and ferries. Please note that the following guide is for typical use, so most of it is just focused on the Gothenburg area. There are many options within Västtrafik, so if you’re doing some traveling that is not covered here then see Västtrafik's contact details below. First is a list of common travel passes, and below is more information that should answer most uncertainties about Gothenburg's public transport. Feel free to comment with any questions as well.
TRAVEL PASS OPTIONS
One-time paper ticket (Enkelbiljett)
Ideal for: If you just need to get somewhere this once, or forgot to buy a pass
Price: 22 kr
Valid for: 90 minutes, any vehicle (bus, tram, ferry), any direction
How to use: Just have it with you and if a controller comes to check, show it.
Night fare: 44 kr
One-time SMS ticket (SMS-biljett)
[IMPORTANT: Since 1 December 2011 it is no longer possible to buy an SMS-ticket without registering your SIM-card. Alas, the registration process requires a Swedish security number (personnummer).]
Ideal for: Basically a one-time ticket bought with your cell phone. Make sure you have enough cash loaded on your phone!
Price: 22 kr
Valid for: 90 minutes
How to use: SMS “GV” to the number 72450 before boarding. You will receive a “ticket” in your inbox and you show it if a controller comes to check. For more sms codes click here.
Night fare: SMS “GVN” to 72450; 44 kr
Cash Card (Kontoladdning)
Ideal for: Traveling periodically (see 30-Day Pass for details), or for use between your 30-day passes
Price: 17,4 kr per trip. You put a 50 kr deposit on the card when you buy it. You can get the 50 kr back when you’re finished with your card if you have a positive balance on your card.
Valid for: 90 minutes, after that it charges you again when you scan it
How to use: Hold card up to scanner to get a green light. Scan it when you change vehicles too (it won’t charge you again if it’s within the 90 minutes) If you have a personal number you can register your card so it’s freezable in case you lose it. Use the “?” button then scan the card to get balance information.
Night fare: 34,3 kr
5-Trips Pass (Femresorsladdning)
Ideal for: Traveling periodically (see 30-Day Pass for details), or for use between your 30-day passes
Price: Don’t let the name fool you; load at least 5 trips on it, max 40 trips; around 17,4 kr per trip
Valid for: 90 minutes, after that it takes another ‘trip’ off
How to use: Hold card up to scanner to get a green light. Scan it when you change vehicles too (it won’t charge you again if it’s within the 90 minutes). Use the “?” button then scan your card to see how many trips you have left.
Night fare: Automatically charges you 2 trips when scanned
30-Day Pass (Kommunladdning Göteborg 30)
Ideal for: Ungdom: if you will make more than 20 trips within 30 days; Vuxen: if you will make more than 27 trips in 30 days
Price: “Ungdom” (ages 7-25): 355 kr ; “Vuxen” (ages 26+): 475 kr
Valid for: 30 days from the day you activate it
How to use: You have 180 days to activate it after you buy it. Just scan it the first time you use it and then have it with you at all times when traveling. They say it’s a good idea to keep your receipt. To see how long it is valid, press the “?” button and then scan your card, look at the screen for expiration date. You can “reload” the same card at the store.
Night fare: If you are ungdom it is included. If you’re 26+ it is not included and needs to be bought separately. If you want night fare included in your pass, get the Göteborg Extra pass, 535 kr/ 30 days.
Chalmers Card (Chalmersladdning) [NB: as of yet, the price for 2012 has not been made available - 2012 Jan. 8]
Ideal for: Chalmers students who frequently travel between Lindholmen and Johanneberg and don’t have another long-term pass
Price: 225 kr for the whole semester
Valid for: Unlimited use of Buss 16 and Älvsnabbare ferry all semester (15 Jan to 31 Aug 2011)
How to use: Must have official student ID (ask västtrafik for more information). The card is personal so you may not share it with others.
Night fare: Included
If you use the 30-day pass, I personally recommend (if you go out of town for a while or are not traveling much between passes) you have either a 5-trips pass on hand, or use your card as a cash-card and 30-day pass. That is, when the 30 days are over you use the same card as a cash card. You can also use the cash to supplement your trip, ex. if you’re going to another zone, or a vuxen riding at night.
Kommunladdning Göteborg 90: Ungdom: 965 kr Vuxen: 1285 kr
Kommunladdning Göteborg 365: All: 4025 kr
24- and 72-hour passes are also available (maybe better for visitors than for residents), just ask any clerk at a store that sells tickets about prices or read more here.
If you still need help choosing a pass here is a guide in Swedish.
Where to buy the passes
You can buy the passes at any convenience store where you see a blue and white symbol, like in the photo above. Pressbyrån and 7-Eleven are options. Obviously you can buy from a Västtrafik store. Sometimes you can purchase on board...
Scanning and Purchasing on Board
Blue and yellow scanners are easily found on almost all buses, trams, and ferries. The yellow ones have more functions (regarding zones, etc.). When entering the bus in the front there is a scanner by the driver (where people used to pay). You cannot pay the driver. If you want to buy a one-time ticket on board, use coins or swipe your card on a dispenser usually in the first car on trams, and on some ferries. On the bus it is usually not an option to buy on board. Guide to buying from dispensers in Swedish, incl. photo
Planning Your Trip
At vasttrafik.se you can easily enter “to” and “from” stops or street addresses to get your “directions.” The times you find when you search here are not real-time updated, however; it’s the schedule. To get real-time information on when a bus or tram will arrive, most stops have very handy screens that you surely have seen. A tool I’ve found quite useful is an iPhone app in which you can look up any stop and get real-time information on all lines, as if you had all of those screens even for the stops that don’t have them right in your hand. This app mainly just helps if you already know which tram or bus you are waiting for; it shows in how many minutes vehicles will arrive. The name is “Res i Vast” and it is free.
Look up any timetable under Tidtabeller. Type in the line number and you may specify with the city and type of transportation, but just the line would suffice. Clicking "Alla Dagar" gets you a pdf of the daily timetables and "Hållplatser" will show you a list of the stops in each direction. "Mot" means "toward."
Be careful that you don't wander into another zone without having an appropriate ticket! Remember, the 30-day pass mentioned above does not include other zones. You probably won't have to worry about other zones too often but always double-check if unsure. If you frequently travel between zones there are many options for you. In that case it is best to contact Västtrafik customer service or see options (in Swedish) here.
One I want to warn you about is Mölndal since it is so close and one of the Ikeas is there. There are several buses and at least tram 4 that go into Mölndal's zone. Partille is another zone you might cross into. See a map here, but an easier way to determine zones is by searching your "Reseplaneren" from the homepage and click the "Price" button on the right. Check the price for "Kontoladdning". If it says 17,30 kr the trip is within the same zone, but if it says 26,30 kr then you will be crossing zones so make sure you follow the correct steps to avoid a fine. Here you will also find the appropriate code to send as a text message (SMS) to 72450 if you want to buy an SMS ticket.
When traveling through multiple zones, press the + button, then scan your card when you get on. Scan your card again when you get off, and it will take off the appropriate amount of cash. (If it is your 30-day pass you must have cash on it or use another means). Before getting off the vehicle, scan again. If your journey takes you between zones the ticket is valid for 180 minutes instead of the usualy 90.
Traveling Without a Ticket
If control officers come to check tickets and you do not have one to show, be prepared to pay a fee of 1200 kr. Make sure you know what you need for your trip (the right zones, the right ticket), because they will not take ignorance as an excuse. If you do get fined and want to contest it, contact Göteborgs Spårvägar.
Getting To and From Gothenburg Landvetter Airport
Flygbussarna (airport busses) stop at different places in the city about every 20 minutes; you can see their schedule and stops on the website. You can pay when you board the bus but not with cash. A one-way ticket is 99 kr (89 kr online) and a 2-way is 189 kr (179 kr online). By sending "HL89" to 72212 you get a one-way for 89 kr. If you pay ahead and get an e-ticket, paper ticket, or SMS ticket, you have to use it within 3 months. Some other bus companies (ex. Swebus) stop at the airport not as frequently for around 50 kr but you have to buy beforehand.
Getting To and From Gothenburg City Airport (Säve)
With Flygbussarna a one-way is 79 kr (69 kr online) and 2-way is 149 kr (129 kr online). By sending "HGCA69" to 72212 you get a one-way for 69 kr. With Västtrafik, bus 36 goes near the airport (bus stop 'Säve Flygplats'). Central zone ticket fare applies.
Things to Remember
- You cannot buy tickets from the driver
- To know which rides are “night fare,” see the timetables for each line. The times highlighted in gray are classified as “night” and need a night ticket
- Respect the signs indicating seats reserved for the elderly, disabled, or people with strollers on a crowded bus or tram
- "Läge" (as in "Läge F") refers to which actual platform the bus/tram will be
Phone: +46 (771) 41 43 00 (random tip: from a Swedish phone dial "0" instead of "+46" also, 0771 numbers cost more to call, just so you know)
Additional Information and Links
You can take a Pendeltåg (commuter train) from Centralstationen to get to other municipalities. The 5-trips pass works on some of these trains.
Some of the ferries (at least to Brännö and Styrsö, and the Älvsnabben and Älvsnabbare, among others) are at no additional charge, but check your reseplaneren. To go to the archipelago many ferries leave from Saltholmen (lines 9, 11, and others get you to Saltholmen).
There is a "resegaranti," a guarantee that if you have sufficient reason to believe that you will be at least 20 minutes late getting somewhere because of Västtrafik being late, you can take an alternative (taxi...) and they will cover your transportation up to 300 kr. More information here
In addition to the Chalmers Card, students can get a discount on a regional pass for all of Västragötaland. On this page are details as well as a list of official student ID's and proofs.
Traveling with a bike
Traveling with mobility issues
Adding charges for night or for express lines (incl. express ferries)
These links are in Swedish. If you need additional help contact Västtrafik or ask us! To comment, click on the article’s title to get to the full article page, and scroll down. If you have any additional questions ask them by commenting here or in the Misi World forum. We will gladly answer them as soon as possible. We’re here to help you!
/Gina, Misi.se team 2011-2012
- Welcome to Gothenburg (promotional video made by the city of Gothenburg)
- The Student Buddies (an article shedding some light on the student buddy organizations)
- Mobile Telephony in Sweden (about mobile plans and getting a cell phone in Sweden)
- Getting Around with Västtrafik (a guide to the public transportation services in Gothenburg)
- Why not Buy Secondhand? (a guide to secondhand stores in Gothenburg)
- Major & Specialty Grocery Stores (introducing the different types of grocery stores)
- IKEA (how to get there)
- City Shopping Guide (introducing Gothenburg shopping areas)
- Shopping Cheap Online (a guide to online stores in Sweden)
- The Public Library (about the library and how to get a library card)
- The Swedish 'Fika' (what on earth is it?)
- Spotify (free streaming music in Sweden)
- Systembolaget (buying alcohol in Sweden)
- Posten (guide to Swedish postal service)
- Practicing Foreign Languages (language cafés in Gothenburg)
- The Breakfast Club (some breakfast buffets reviewed)
- Sexlife (practical information about where to buy condoms and so on)
- Sightseeing for Natives (recommended sights in Gothenburg)
This is a series of ten podcasts designed to introduce you to the Swedish language. We apologize for the poor audio quality of the first three episodes.
Episode 1 - Word order and verbs.
Episode 2 - Nouns.
Episode 3 - Adjectives.
Episode 4 - "What is that?"
Episode 5 - "Weekdays and Time"
Episode 6 - "Weekdays and Time"
Episode 7 - Verbs for 'to shop'
Episode 8 - "Money and withdrawing money from a store"
Episode 9 - Tag-Questions and Asking for Opinions
Episode 10 - Swedish Months and Saying Farewell