A Primer on Swiss Postal Buses

If you want to experience a classical Swiss „Postauto“ bus in real life, simply take public transportation to a mountainous region of Switzerland! You are most likely going to curve up the narrow mountain street in one of these charming yellow buses.

But if you are less lucky, your car will be stuck behind a Postauto on your way up a narrow mountain street...

Swiss Postal Buses - Postauto
Either way, <strong >it pays to know a little bit about the story behind the Swiss mail delivery buses: In 1849, Switzerland started the expansion of a countrywide network of mail carriers. At the time, they were using horse carriages to transport mail through valleys and across mountain passes. By 1906, horse power was leveraged and the first ever Postauto bus was put in place between Bern and Detlingen.

It took until at least 1919 before mail buses took off: This is the year when the impressive Simplon pass street was opened, facilitating the crossing to the South. Dozens of military vehicles were repurposed into mail delivery buses, and the original horse carriages became a thing of the past.

Now that the Swiss Postal service was officially in charge of transportation of people and mail, the Alpen-Post was finally founded between 1920 and 1922. This was a milestone in the history of Switzerland, as <strong >mail delivery became less risky and could now be guaranteed across most mountain passes.

Today, the Swiss Postal service maintains a fleet of 1909 Postautos featuring modern amenities like WiFi. Some of the buses are even double-deckers, but what they all have in common is the iconic three tone melody: Tüüü-taaa-tooo!

Wind in the Hair, Sun in the Face on Mt. Stanserhorn

Swiss Postal Buses - Postauto
No less than 300’000 commuters and tourists rely on postal buses daily. Are you going to be one of them?

Swiss Postal Buses - Postauto

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Dimitri Burkhard

Founder, Editor-in-Chief at Newly Swissed GmbH
As the founder, editor and community manager of Newly Swissed, Dimitri owns the strategic vision. He is passionate about storytelling and is a member of the Swiss Travelwriters Club.

Dimitri loves discovering new trends and covers architecture, design, start-ups and tourism.
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