Rethinking my mobility
Mis à jour : 4 mai 2019
When we moved to Zug, we left most of our house, including my car, in a container that would travel a long time to reach Europe. From the time we set foot in Switzerland until the car finally got registered under Swiss law (tip: if you can avoid importing an un-registered car from the Middle-East, DO IT!), which took almost 5 months (!) we made our way around using rental cars and public transports.
At the beginning of the summer I signed up for an online course on urban mobility which obliged me to design my "mobility profile" (where do I go? why and how? what do I prioritize between cost of transportation, time spent in journeys, environmental perspectives...) and question it against the existing urban infrastructures, whether transportation networks or street and inhabitations' settings.
After a few years living in Scandinavia, then a few more in the Middle East, I thought I knew my way around the logic behind my preferences and choices. However this course allowed me to look around my shoes a little more carefully: infrastructures as we know them involve a lot more than just political, financial or physical decisions.
The big change with Dubai is that all our everyday-journeys in Zug can be managed by foot: 10 mn to work, 15 mn to school, a good 30 mn maximum to reach the lake and Zug Altstadt (the old town). We have bought city bikes that allow us to fix a stroller until our son learns to bike with us. We have also saved a lot of energy lately with him driving around on his scooter with his cute little helmet.
I am still however very confused with the way people bike here. Of course I experienced extremes: from Copenhagen (where biking is part of everyone's DNA and is extremely codified) to Dubai (where it is chaotic if not dangerous at all) I have developed various expectations in terms of traffic rules and behaviours. To remain safe, I'll probably stick to the "Danish way of doing" for another while and I am in serious need of a helmet.
Being car-free AND in charge of a toddler is also an amazing way to discover a new environment: because you need to keep yourself busy (and therefore sane) with an active child, walking around is an easy way to find nice places, playgrounds, cafés...and meet new people. Taking the train in Zug also brings you to Zurich or Luzern in 30 mn, opening the range of things to do nicely. And if you fancy it, walk to one of the local farms around and get fresh products in one of the 24/7 Automat machines.
As a newcomer in the city, what can I say about local urban mobility?
Zug is not especially car-friendly; it is not congested (and surely not to Dubai standards), but parking is quite limited and surely pricey. I cannot park easily and for free next to the nursery, which makes me reluctant to do a good-old "school run" Dubai-style.
Public transports are 200% reliable, safe, clean, a good opposite to their equivalent in France. The cost of a single fare is however quite high for the distance to be covered, so I question each time whether I can walk a few hundred meters more instead. Since we moved I walk an average 5km per day and it's just great: not only the air here is pure and fresh, but it has allowed me to stay "passively" active and I lost 2 kg making my way through town.