Public transportation prices in 80 worldwide cities
Any good budget traveler can tell you that one of the best and easiest ways to save money in almost any city is to use the public transportation system, especially on longer journeys. As we recently displayed in our world taxi prices comparison, even a short trip can be incredibly expensive in some cities.
So below we’ve compiled public transportation prices in 80 of the most popular tourist cities all over the world. Since nearly every one of these systems is subsidized by the city, some of the prices are shockingly low, even on quite a few new-and-clean metro systems.
With the exception of the single most expensive one (which is really more of a novelty), the pricier part of the list more or less lines up with what you’d expect and what the locals can afford. Often in those cases the city also encourages use by severely punishing self-drivers with high road and/or parking fees. It’s also worth mentioning that most cities offer weekly or monthly transit cards that often bring the per-ride cost way down for locals.
Single-ride public transportation prices in 80 tourist cities
*all prices converted into US dollars in mid-May, 2017
Price ranges reflect shortest to longest rides in most cities. Tourists are most likely to pay the lowest price.
Caracas, Venezuela (metro, bus) $0.40 – $1.50
Cairo, Egypt (metro) $0.06
Delhi, India (metro) $0.12 – $0.46
La Paz, Bolivia (bus) $0.19 – $0.51
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (light rail) $0.23 – $0.65
Marrakech, Morocco (bus) $0.20 – $0.51
Mexico City, Mexico (metro) $0.27
Panama City, Panama (bus) $0.25
Quito, Ecuador (bus) $0.25 – $0.35
Hong Kong, China (tram, ferry) $0.30 – $0.44
Buenos Aires, Argentina (bus, subway) $0.28 – $0.36
Beijing, China (subway) $0.44 – $1.31
Dakar, Senegal (bus) $0.25
Lima, Peru (bus) $0.15 – $0.61
Auckland, New Zealand (bus) $0.69 – $2.07
Macau, China (bus) $0.41 – $0.82
Shanghai, China (metro) $0.44 – $1.31
Cancun, Mexico (bus) $0.56
Taipei, Taiwan (metro) $0.66 – $2.15
Bangkok, Thailand (skytrain) $0.44 – $1.51
Singapore, Singapore (subway, light rail) $0.58 – $1.58
St. Petersburg, Russia (tram, bus, metro) $0.52 – $0.61
Cartagena, Colombia (bus) $0.48
Dubai, UAE (metro) $0.54 – $2.32
Montevideo, Uruguay (bus) $1.00
Sofia, Bulgaria (tram, bus, metro) $0.57
Phuket, Thailand (bus) $0.73 – $1.16
Moscow, Russia (metro) $0.87
Krakow, Poland (bus, tram) $0.74 – $1.00
Seoul, South Korea (subway) $1.11 – $1.20
Prague, Czech Republic (tram, bus, metro) $1.00 – $1.34
Santiago, Chile (metro, bus) $0.91 – $1.07
Istanbul, Turkey (tram, bus, metro, ferry) $1.10
Cape Town, South Africa (minibus) $0.45
Lisbon, Portugal (tram, bus, metro) $1.56 – $2.00
New Orleans, USA (tram, bus) $1.25 – $1.50
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (metro, bus) $1.13 – $1.22
Budapest, Hungary (tram, bus, metro) $1.26 – $1.90
Athens, Greece (tram, bus, metro) $1.56
Madrid, Spain (metro, bus) $1.67 – $2.22
Monaco, Monaco (bus) $2.22
Rome, Italy (tram, bus, metro) $1.67
Tallinn, Estonia (bus, tram, trolley) $1.11 – $1.78
Dubrovnik, Croatia (bus) $1.79 – $2.24
Los Angeles, USA (bus, metro) $1.75
Chicago, USA (metro, bus) $2.25
Dublin, Ireland (tram, bus) $1.67
Nice, France (bus) $1.67
Tel Aviv, Israel (bus) $1.92 – $3.04
Washington DC, USA (metro) $1.60 – $5.00
Bruges, Belgium (bus) $1.44 – $2.22
Florence, Italy (bus) $1.33
Berlin, Germany (tram, bus, metro) $3.00
Zagreb, Croatia (bus, tram, train) $1.49
Barcelona, Spain (tram, bus, metro) $2.39
Tokyo, Japan (metro) $1.53 – $2.78
Edinburgh, Scotland (bus) $2.08
Sydney, Australia (metro, bus) $1.78 – $3.48
San Francisco, USA (tram, bus, metro) $2.25
Miami, USA (bus) $2.25
Honolulu, USA (bus) $2.50
New York City, USA (subway, bus) $2.50 – $2.75
Brussels, Belgium (metro, bus) $2.25 – $2.81
Paris, France (metro) $2.02
Galway, Ireland (bus) $2.13 – $3.93
Helsinki, Finland (tram, bus, metro) $2.81 – $3.60
Vancouver, Canada (skytrain, bus) $2.04
Reykjavik, Iceland (bus) $4.00
Stockholm, Sweden (tram, bus, metro) $4.13 – $8.26
Montreal, Canada (metro, bus) $2.41
London, England (tube, bus, tram: using Oystercard) $6.49
Toronto, Canada (subway, streetcar, bus) $2.07 – $2.22
Vienna, Austria (subway, tram, bus) $2.47
Munich, Germany (tram, bus, metro, subway) $2.92 – $5.84
Amsterdam, Netherlands (tram, bus, metro) $3.15
Melbourne, Australia (tram, bus) $3.73
Zurich, Switzerland (bus, tram, train) $2.68 – $4.43
Copenhagen, Denmark (metro, bus) $3.61 – $16.24
Oslo, Norway (tram, bus, metro, ferry) $3.58 – $5.97
Venice, Italy (water bus) $7.87
Notes on the above prices
- 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.
The curious case of Caracas
Most of the cities on the list above have public transportation prices that more or less reflect the cost of visiting, but Caracas is an exception. Venezuela’s largely-disastrous attempts at planning its economy have contributed to Caracas being weirdly expensive for tourists, with the few international-standard hotels being among the most expensive in South America.
However, if keeping the working class from rioting is very high on the priority list then using petro-dollars to keep public transportation nearly free can be a worthwhile strategy. The modern underground system there has a flat fare equaling about US$0.40, while buses are about US$1.50.
Most travelers can cut prices about in half by changing dollars into local currency on the black market (so the metro would only be US$0.20 cents per ride), but even then other things are expensive compared to other large cities in the region.
The cheapest public transportation system in the world
Even though we concentrate mostly on popular tourist cities, seeing the Caracas situation made us wonder about Pyongyang, North Korea, and it turned out to be very interesting. Any visitor to the country will be chaperoned by a local guide at all times, and some tours do include a 1-stop ride on the Pyongyang metro, but otherwise the 17-station system is closed to all tourists.
If you were able to ride the Pyongyang Metro on your own you’d only be paying 5 KP₩, which is just about US$0.01 per ride. Quite a bargain for those lucky enough to live nearby, and certainly the cheapest metro system in the world.
Here in Tucson AZ the cash fare is $1.75, with advanced purchase card $1.50. It’s a popular tourist destination, but a small market.
And, FYI, I know this isn’t a political article, but although the fare may be cheap in Pyongyang, the reality is that you’d have to live in a cruel fascist dictatorship where the citizens are routinely starved to pay for the military, weapons and massive parades. And just yesterday (7/21/2017) the US banned all citizens from visiting North Korea.
Thanks for the list, even though it’s old, it’s really helpful as a general comparison.
the price in auckland for long is 9 dollars cash nzd. oh thats also one way.
Thanks for the helpful comment. The list above is meant to compare the price for a bus, tram, or metro ride that a tourist might do. That means the ride would normally be 2 KM to 8KM or so. Many cities have higher fares for the longest rides out into the suburbs, and if we used those totals for the high end of the range it would be misleading for tourists. For example, you can take the Tube in London out to Zone 9 at a one-way cost of £28.60, which is around US$36. The reason we DON’T use that number is that almost all tourists stay in Zones 1 and 2, which cap at £6.60 for the day. But again, thanks for the help. -Roger
The price of a single ticket in Rome is now €1.50 ($1.69), but anyone can buy a calendar-month Metro/bus card for £35 ($39.43) plus €2 for the initial card, which can then be refilled. So if you plan to use public transit more than 23 times, it’s well worth it–and saves standing in sometimes very long lines at the ticket machines!
Thanks, Lynn. This article was written about 5 years ago and I’ve considered updating it, but it would be too much work. However, we do update our main Rome page (and all the others) at least once a year to reflect current prices. I appreciate the comment. -Roger
Hi, Here is a transportation tip in South Korea. At the Incheon International Airport, you can buy a reasonable and convenient package. ‘express train and T-money card’ combined package is only 8,900won. Originally express train is 8,000won and T-money card is 4,000won and you need to charge the money by yourself. Also you can use another package ‘express train and international taxi’ if you have many bags. Check out this smart way when your next Korea journey.
Note that in some cities zone fares apply, where a ticket allows unlimited use of transit within the specified zone(s) for a given amount of time. An example is Zürich, where the city network “single” ticket is valid for 1 hour, but for twice that price, you get a ticket valid for 24 hours.
Not sure about the “small discounts” line. Sure, Venice is pricey for 1 trip, but you can get a week’s travel for 7x that price – and that’s the tourist price, locals or long-term visitors can get far cheaper passes.
I think it would be good to have an updated list, since this is 3 years old. My city is not on the list so i think this is no use giving the prices around here.
The fare in public transport in Tashkent city in the capital of Uzbekistan is $ 0.35.
Melbourne is also now ridiculous for a one-off trip, as you have to purchase a $6 ticket and then pay the $3.50 to $5.90 for a two hour zoned ticket.
Again, thanks for the effort in putting this information together, it’s definitely helpful for at a glance information. However,the city in which I reside is Dublin, Ireland and the prices quoted(understandably not updated) do not reflect the cost of public travel here. Currently, the cost is $2.16 for the cheapest fare on a bus or a tram. Either of these fares would get you a couple of kilometers at most. The price rises incrementally by stage(kms).