Bargain reports and analytics

The comparison of public transport fares in big cities

PicodiMarch 15, 2023 analysts checked the public transport fares in 45 cities worldwide and juxtaposed the transport expenses with local average wages.

In our study, we took a closer look at single ticket prices, as well as monthly passes, which allow for unlimited travel within the city limits.

Is public transport affordable?

In three out of 45 cities, public transport is completely free for citizens – Luxembourg, the capital of Estonia, Tallinn and the capital of Malta, Valletta.

Among other cities in our ranking, the most expensive single tickets can be found in London ($5.19), Zurich ($4.75) and Oslo ($3.91). On the other hand, the highest prices for monthly passes are paid by citizens of London ($271), Dublin ($166) and New York ($127)

When we juxtapose the monthly pass prices with the average monthly wages, the least favourable ratio can be found in São Paulo, where the monthly access to all means of public transport in the city costs 14.3% of the average wage. Second and third place in terms of cost belongs to Istanbul and London (7.5% and 7.4% of the average wage respectively).

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

Prices of public transport in the United States

Is public transport in the US affordable?

Among the 50 cities included in the ranking, the most expensive single ticket can be found in Honolulu and costs $3.00. On the other hand, citizens of Houston, New Orleans and Huntsville can enjoy the cheapest single tickets – $1.00. When it comes to the monthly passes, citizens of New York have to pay the highest price – $127. The cheapest monthly pass can be found in Billings ($28). Citizens of Albuquerque, Kansas City and Burlington can enjoy fare-free public transport.


Our study was based on the prices of single tickets and monthly passes offered by local public transport operators as of March 2023. Average net wages were taken from For currency conversion, we used the average exchange rate data from Google Finance for February 2023.

The monthly passes included in this study allow for unlimited travel with all means of transportation within the city limits. In our ranking, we used the most favourable prices if possible (e.g. lower fares with a mobile app or special public transport cards, although we did not include the cost of ordering such a card).

We did not include cities, in which one mode of transport is offered by multiple operators with very different pricing policies (Tokyo, Beijing, Jakarta, Bangkok and others). We also did not include cities where it is not possible to buy a monthly pass.

The full list of the included cities and public transport operators can be found here.

Public Use

Both the infographics as well as the statistical data can be used freely for commercial and non-commercial purposes. We only ask you to credit the author of the research ( with a link to this subpage. In case of any questions, please feel free to contact us at: