1. Transport
March 24, 2023

London travel passes most expensive of 45 global cities, new report finds

Analysts checked public transport fares in 45 cities worldwide and juxtaposed the transport expenses with local average wages.

By Alex Summers

The UK capital has once again upheld its reputation for being expensive as it topped a new report that Picodi analysts conducted – a comprehensive study of public transport fares in 45 cities across the world, comparing transport expenses with the local average wages.

monthly travel passes
London doesn’t rank well for monthly travel pass. (Photo by I Wei Huang/Shutterstock)

The analysis focused on single ticket prices and monthly passes that offer unlimited travel within city limits.

Out of the 45 cities examined, three cities have completely free public transport for citizens, namely Luxembourg, Tallinn (capital of Estonia), and Valletta (capital of Malta). However, among the remaining cities, the study found that the most expensive single tickets can be found in London ($5.19), Zurich ($4.75), and Oslo ($3.91).

Meanwhile, public travelling within London ($271), Dublin ($166) and New York ($127) pay the highest prices for monthly passes.

For the study, the monthly passes considered offer unrestricted travel on all modes of transportation within city limits. To rank the cities, Picodi selected the most favourable prices available, including discounted fares through mobile apps or special public transport cards. However, it did not factor in the cost of obtaining such cards.

It excluded cities where a single mode of transport is operated by multiple companies with vastly different pricing policies (such as Tokyo, Beijing, Jakarta, Bangkok and others).

Travel pass as a proportion of net wage

When comparing the cost of monthly passes with the average monthly wages, the study found that the least favourable ratio can be found in São Paulo, where monthly access to all modes of public transport costs 14.3% of the average wage. Istanbul and London follow closely in second and third place, respectively, with monthly passes costing 7.5% and 7.4% of the average wage.

New York is also among the more expensive cities in this ranking, with a monthly pass costing $127, which is only 2.1% of the average net wage in the city. This result is similar to the ratios found in Dubai (2.3%) and Singapore (1.9%).

Content from our partners
The key role of heat network integration in creating one of London’s most sustainable buildings
The role of green bonds in financing the urban energy transition
The need to grow London's EV infrastructure at speed and scale

[Read more: Germany’s €9 public transport ticket increases to €49]

Topics in this article :
Websites in our network