Friday, 19 June 2015

Bewältigung der Koordination Rätsel [1]

Crossing the Border to Basel

The establishment of the Swiss Confederation (so technically NOT "Switzerland") is traditionally dated to 1 August 1291, which is celebrated annually as Swiss National Day. The country has a long history of armed neutrality; it has not been in a state of war internationally since 1815, and did not join the United Nations until 2002.

On the European level, it is a founding member of the European Free Trade Association, but notably, it is not part of the European Union, nor the European Economic Area (and thus does not use the Euro). However the country does participate in the EU's single market through a number of bilateral treaties.

Straddling the intersection of Germanic and Romance Europe, Switzerland comprises four main linguistic and cultural regions: German, French, Italian and Romansh. The nation's strong sense of identity and community is founded on a common historical background, shared values such as federalism and direct democracy.

German speakers form the largest "ethnic" group and Basel is in their geographical area (click on the map to enlarge it).
French - Green : German - Brown
Italian - Blue : Romansch - Purple
There are many detail differences between the Swiss "versions" of the languages and even different "dialects" of german are spokn in the north and south of the country.

We are now crossing the border from Flance (Saint Louis and Heningue) into Basel (No 1 on the map above).
A few stops beyond the border, Bus 8 (Distribus, France) meets up with Tram 6 (Swiss).
The tram ...
... is operated by BVB (Basler Verkehrs-Betriebe) which, effectively, is the Basel City Transport company.
But as we proceed (virtually) into the city, we will spot trams in a yellow and red livery.
These are BLT trams which, sadly, do not supply their passengers with free bacon sandwiches.
BLT is BaselLand Transport with "Baselland" being the Canton that oversees life in the outer suburbs of Basel and the country areas beyond.

Both operators run into the centre of the city; both operate buses and, from the passenger's point of view, both combine to operate a fully coordinated network.

But look at Tram 8 on the map.
It is a "City" tram (green) but crosses the border into Germany ...
... and terminate in a loop at Weil am Rhine station.
BLT tram 10 is even more fun! (Older rolling stock illustrated!).
It runs into France ...
... to call at Leymen ...
... before terminating in bucolic beauty at Rodersdorf, back in Switzerland.
Tram 11 appears to be a "proper" train branch line recently train-trained. In fact the branch was electrified in 1905.
fbb suspects that borders are nominal and unstaffed, if any. Yes! Two white posts only.
So we have Basel trams to Germany and Basel trans to France, but just to add to the confusion and or interest, BVB (City) tram line 14 ...
... runs well into BLT territory, as pictured here at Pratteln Bahnhofstrasse.
This little line opened in 1921/22.

And fbb forgot to say that all these trams run on metre gauge track (three feet and a bit in English money), not standard at 4 feet 8½ inches. Which is why they look a bit thin!

But, in broad terms, transport in Basel appears to be simple.

Maybe not quite as simple as it first appears. If you go to Aeschenplatz (in Basel) you might well see smart all-yellow buses.
Koordination is most definitely a bit of a potential Rätsel. They're not BVB or BLT.

We'll take a weekend breather from the Conundrum and return to Basel on Monday.

 Next UK bus blog : Saturday 20th June 

1 comment:

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