While most of us would prefer zipping around town in our own private air conditioned cars while unabashedly singing along with the radio, public transit has become the more realistic method of transportation for residents in most major cities. With gas prices on the rise and the environmental impact of toxic exhaust fumes, more and more people are making the conscious decision to ditch their wheels and cut back on their carbon footprints.
Using public transportation such as buses, trams (the European word for streetcar) and trains decreases not only pollution, but also the high costs of owning a vehicle. However, in these cities, the price tag of being a member of the transit club might not be much different than tooting around town in your own whip.
Here is a list of the world’s 10 most expensive public transportation systems. The prices may not be astronomically high for one ticket, however if you are continuously buying tickets to get around, the amount will certainly add up. All figures below have been transferred into U.S. currency to make the comparison easier to notice.
10. Munich, Germany – Single Ticket: $3.24
The best way to get around Germany’s third most populous city and home of the famous Oktoberfest is with its well-developed public transportation system. It consists of the suburban train, S-Bahn, the underground train, U-Bahn, and several trams. Built in 1972, the S-Bahn has a daily ridership of 800,000 people and has 10 stations throughout the city. The U-Bahn, which was built one year prior to the suburban train, has a daily ridership of more than one million. This means that of Munich’s population of 2.6 million residents, almost half of them rely on the public transportation system to travel throughout the city everyday.
9. Frankfurt, Germany – Single Ticket: $3.24
With a population of almost 700,000 people, Frankfurt is Germany’s fifth largest city and is tied with Munich as the 10th most expensive transit system. Similarly, Frankfurt’s public transportation system is made up of the S-Bahn, the U-Bahn and nine tram lines. At a maximum length of 200 m (600 ft) and speed of approximately 140 km/h (90 mph), the trains are a popular choice for transportation because they’re incredibly fast. In 2012, 49.9 million passengers rode the Frankfurt trams.
8. Helsinki, Finland – Single Ticket: $3.28
Helsinki, with a population of over 610,000, has the most diverse public transportation systems in Finland, consisting of trams, commuter rail, the subway, buses and two ferry lines. After discontinuing the trams in Turku and Viipuri, Helsinki is currently the only city in Finland with trams and metro trains. In 1982, the Helsinki Metro was built and became the only rapid transit system in the country. In 2012, it was reported that the Helsinki Metro had a total of 62 million passengers.
7. Sydney, Australia – Single ticket: $3.43
It must be noted that Sydney, Australia is the only non-European location on this list. As the largest city in the country, Sydney also has the largest number of users among Australia’s major cities with a yearly ridership of 522 million. The extensive system consists of bus, train and water modes, with the buses accounting for half of the journeys throughout the city on weekdays. Despite its high usage, it has been commonly dubbed by several blogs and websites as the worst public transit system in the world.
6. Geneva, Switzerland – Single Ticket: $3.67
Geneva, Switzerland has a growing population of about 185,000 residents and boasts one of the most sophisticated and rapidly developing public transportation systems in Western Europe. The Geneva Public Transport network operates trams, trolleybuses, and buses throughout the gorgeous Switzerland city, including some regions neighbouring France. Since 2008, the GPT network included six tramway routes, 38 cantonal bus routes, 15 inter-cantonal and international bus routes and 12 evening bus routes. The buses can carry 150 passengers. Additionally, more tramway routes are planned for 2015 and a 40% increase in mobility is being planned for 2020.
5. London, England – Single Ticket: $3.70
London’s public transportation network is one of the largest and busiest in the world. The London Underground (also known as The Underground or The Tube) is the main metro system and serves the Greater London area and the counties of Buckinghamshire, Hertfordshire and Essex. With 270 stations, the network carried 1.23 billion passengers in 2012 and 2013. It was reported that as of 2012, 91% of the operational costs were paid for by passenger fares. Additionally, the famous double-decker London buses hold a weekday ridership of six million.
4. Stockholm, Sweden – Single Ticket: $4.52
Stockholm, with a population of almost 800,000 people, is the capital of Sweden and accounts for 22% of all Swedish inhabitants. The city’s highly extensive public transportation system consists of the Stockholm Metro, two urban rail systems called Roslagsbanan and Saltsjobanan, a suburban rail system called the Stockholm Commuter Rail, three light rail systems called Nockebybanan, Lidinogobanan, and Tvarbanan, a tram way called Sparvag City, an inner city boat line called Djurgardsfarjan, and several bus lines. Stockholm’s Metro station currently sits at number six on CNN’s recent list of Europe’s 12 most impressive metro stations.
3. Zurich, Switzerland – Single Ticket: $4.66
As the largest city in Switzerland, Zurich has a population of approximately two million people between the municipality and the metropolitan areas. It is known worldwide for having a highly superior public transportation system. Consisting of the S-Bahn, trams and buses (also known as trolley buses, which are both diesel and electric), the Zurich public transit network has some of the highest traffic densities in the world. Additionally, the system also includes the boats on the lake and river and even a cable car between the Swiss cities of Adliswil and Felsenegg. The railway is the busiest in the country and about 70 per cent of inhabitants use it daily, as well as the bus systems.
2. Copenhagen, Denmark – Single Ticket: $4.88
The Copenhagen public transportation network is so substantial that it has become a hub in Northern Europe. Consisting of a main-line rail, S-train, metro, bus and boat, Denmark’s capital and most populous city broke a record in 2013 by increasing its passengers to 2.2 million, which is 50 per cent more than the European average. Approximately 750,000 passengers make use of Copenhagen’s public transportation per year and the city also has a daily ferry connection to Oslo, Norway. In addition, Copenhagen has won the World Travel Award for Europe’s Leading Cruise Port consecutively since 2008.
1. Oslo, Norway – Single Ticket: $5.12
Finally, for $5.12 a pop per single ticket, Oslo, Norway has the world’s most expensive public transportation system and over 84 million passengers per year. With the six-line Oslo Metro, which happens to be the world’s most largest metro per resident, the six-line Oslo Tramway, and the eight-line Oslo Commuter Rail, Norway’s capital and most populous city has the ultimate transit network. Unfortunately if you are buying tickets on an individual basis, riding this public transportation system will get very pricey in very little time.
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