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Research 2019: Cost of public transportation in 53 countries

For many tourists, travel cost in the country and city of destination is a major expense. For example, many tourists try to save money by using public transport. The prices of public transport are usually corrected to the local standard of living. This translates to a bus ride in Helsinki (Finland) logically to be more expensive than a ride in Quito (Ecuador). This is a benefit for tourists who visit Africa, South America or Asia.

On a regular basis taxi drivers of Taxi2Airport, an international taxi platform receive questions from tourists about the possibilities and cost of public transport during their trip from the airport to the place of destination. Therefore Taxi2Airport decided to investigate the cost of public transport in 80 cities around the world. In addition to their research, they consulted the travel expenses database PriceofTravel. Furthermore, the research revealed some interesting facts about public transport.

Average ride in tourist city under 2 euro

The bus, tram and metro are the most common means of public transport worldwide. Of all the tourists cities that where analyzed, the bus was found in 35.8% of the cities. The metro (19.8%) is also common in tourist cities. In third place are the tram and metro combined with both a total share of 12.3%. On average, a single short ride with one of these four means of transport costs about 1 euro and 68 eurocents globally.

Extremes

In Venice, a single public transport ride costs an average of €7.67 if you take the water bus. In Copenhagen, public transport is the most expensive for a one-way ticket, which can cost up to € 13.90 per ride. The cheapest rides take place in Cairo (Egypt) and Buenos Aires (Argentina) for an average of 11 eurocents.

City trip in Europe

Are you planning to visit several European cities? In this case a public transport ride to your destination will be the cheapest in Eastern Europe for an average of € 0.94, followed by Southern Europe where an average ride to your destination costs € 2.14. A trip to the north of Europe is by far the most expensive with an average cost of € 3.99. In Western Europe you make a ride to your destination for an average of € 2.51.

Continental

An average public transport ride in one of the tourist cities in Africa will cost you only €0.28. An average trip to your destination in Europe, on the other hand, costs €2.74. The most expensive public transport trip costs an average of €2.96 in Australia and New Zealand. In South America and Asia, you pay €0.75 and €1.37 respectively for each ride to your destination.

World language

Which world language is on average is the cheapest to use for a ride? A ride in an English-speaking country costs an average of €2.22. In a Spanish-speaking country, a ride to your destination costs an average of €0.72. The cheapest ride in Mandarin costs an average of only €0.70.

Below is an overview of all the researched cost of public transportation for each tourist city.

  • Where price ranges are indicated it usually means that shorter rides are cheaper than longer rides, but in some cases it means a subway might be cheaper than a bus or vice versa. 
  • All of the above prices are walk-up fares that a tourist would pay, though many cities offer small discounts to those who buy passes in advance or in bulk. 
  • For London in particular the Oystercard (prepaid magnetic card) price was used because the walk-up price of £2.39 (US$3.12) for even the shortest tube ride is so high that only a fool skips getting a card. 
  • In a few cities, most notably Auckland, Budapest, and Prague, the low price is only for very short rides, so the higher price is more common. 
  • In some cities, particularly in Asia, there are informal public transportation systems, or systems that virtually no tourists ever take, and those were mostly left off the list. For example, Bangkok also has local non-aircon buses that are cheaper than the Skytrain and subway, but it's extremely rare to see any tourists aboard.