Here are some specific tips for major cities that will help on top of general ideas above. If a major city isn’t listed, it’s just because not much more applies than the advice above.
- Near the end of the month it’s commonplace for police to be waiting at the metro exits to check tickets by scanning them. This is a good reason to not throw your ticket away if you buy one and also to make sure to buy one when you ride near the end of the month, it’s only € 1,90, the cheapest in Europe.
- Not easily known if just traveling through, Saturdays and Sundays it only costs €3,80 for the whole day if under 26
- Third type of metro, it is ruthlessly watched. It may have the similar check ticket before you go down into the metro but at major stations there are routinely conductors watching for people to check the tickets.
- Unpredictably there will be conductors standing at the exits to check for checked tickets. They will surround you, and make a wall so you cannot pass. They cannot be persuaded either. They will not ask for an address either, they expect you to pay right there.
- The bus drivers are not keen on the people jumping on the back of the bus trick. They will call you to the front to pay.
- The metro is a joke in terms of security. I’ve never seen nor heard of a conductor on it and it runs 24/7 which is almost unheard of and great. You’ll never get stuck in a far part of a city away from a host or hostel.
- I’ve taken the rail multiple times without getting caught or even seeing conductors but that isn’t a guarantee.
- Most people in Zurich are too afraid to actually cheat their public transport. From my experience, this actually leads to less conductors. The trains are very well conducted, but the trams are not.
- The conductors always travel in three in the stereotypical sketchy way with a messenger bag.
- They will give you a hard time, I have never been caught here but friends who have suggested running and have succeeded in doing so.
- If you see a person looking around a lot with a messenger bag and standing then it is probably a conductor. This does not mean the conductors only look like this, a good amount do though
- London is very difficult to cheat, click here for a separate piece about my attempts to do so.