One of the first things you need to know about Zurich is that the trams have the right of way, always. There are two types of trams in circulation. The old Tram 2000 vehicles were introduced in 1976 and are still in circulation in one form or another. In 2001, a new tram was brought on-line: more spacious and, especially, quieter. Built by the Canadian Bombardier company, they are known as Cobras and they live up to their name – silent and deadly.
Because the trams have the right of way, Zurich’s tram drivers are particularly mean people. Not so the bus drivers – they wait for people to cross the road, they open the doors for you when your hands are full of bags or kids. But tram drivers are mean. I’ve seen them wait for someone to cross in front of their stopped tram to then pull on the bell and start off – with an evil grin on their face. Beware of the tram drivers! They are reputed to keep notches inside of their cabins of the numbers of tourists they have sent to the hospital. They meet at the water fountain and swap tales of their prowess in flustering tourists. They secretly smile to themselves when they have pulled off a coup.. Beware the tram driver!