Public Transportation Love-Hate: Getting from A to Bratislava
Today marks the beginning of a bit of a public transportation festival for Jaunted. All throughout this week and next, our contributors will be focusing on their favorite and least favorite transportation systems around the world, with some valuable tips and memorable anecdotes to come. Join us in celebrating the ultimate travel tool: a cheap way to get around. Share your own stories with us in the comments or by emailing tips [at] jaunted [dot] com.
Slovak capital Bratislava has, it must be said, a pretty good public transportation system. Left over from socialist times when few could bribe the right person for a car, an extensive bus, trolleybus and tram network criss-crosses the city and you really can get nearly everywhere you need to, and for a very fair price. That price, of course, cannot be paid on the tram, but at a ticket machine that is sometimes nearby and sometimes functioning (but usually only takes coins, which you'll never have enough of). You can also buy tickets in blocks from the people who work at small kiosks if you have good sign language skills.
Riding a tram in Bratislava can be a bit of a cultural experience. When I lived there in 2004, it was common to watch a tram pull into the station with a driver wearing no shirt (don't get excited guys, they were always men; and gals: they were nothing special), eating a sandwich with one hand and sending a text message with the other. Obviously trams can steer themselves. Rumor has it that (somewhat sadly, really) they have to wear uniforms now, that is, actual shirts, not just a uniform bare chest.
More after the jump.
· Slow Slovak Summer [Jaunted]