The most expensive transit rides – from MSN News


Though Vancouver is not mentioned, our transit fares are right there up with the big boys, with three fare zones, starting at $2.75 for one zone and $5.00 for traveling three zones; how soon will our one zone fare match that of Toronto’s and a three zone fare match that of London’s Underground?

From MSN Website

Note: All prices have been converted to Canadian dollars based on the exchange rate on Nov. 23, 2009.

London, England

Ticket price: $7
Annual ridership: 1.2 billion

London’s Tube, the world’s oldest underground transit system, can also boast being the most expensive. While savvy riders will use an Oyster card to drop the single ride price to about $3.86, the average commuter would be forced to pay nearly twice that for a regular ticket during rush hour. The London Underground is connected to all of the city’s suburbs (and even, via the Eurostar railway, to Paris), but the extra distance will just cost extra. The initial $7 fare covers only one-way travel within the city’s core.

Berlin, Germany

Ticket price: $3.32
Annual ridership: 473 million

The Berlin U-Bahn operates on the most extensive underground transit system in Germany. Yet to see the entire capital, don’t expect the above fare to cover it all. A one-way pass to roam the whole town would cost more than a dollar extra ($3.32 only buys you access to Berlin’s core trains). If you want to bring your bike, not only does the U-Bahn charge up to an additional $3.16, but there is another fee for commuters wanting to bring large dogs onboard.

Washington D.C., United States

Ticket price: $3.25
Annual ridership: 293 million

Fares are so high on the D.C. Metrorail because it’s one of the few North American transit systems with no dedicated source of government funding. In fact, almost 60 per cent of the Metrorail’s operating budget has to come from fare revenue alone, so you can see why the price of a fare has gone through the roof. The good news with riding the D.C. Metro: Washington is said to have some of the most congested car traffic in the U.S. The bad news: a one-way ticket, if your commute is over a certain length, can easily jump to as much as $4.75.

Oslo, Norway

Ticket price: $5.67
Annual ridership: 73 million

Like many subway systems around the world, it’s much cheaper to ride the Oslo T-Bane if you buy your ticket in advance. But even with those savings (advance fares are still $4.16), this Norwegian transit system is one of only two in the world to routinely cost more than four dollars per ride. Make sure you get your pass stamped before you board a train in Oslo, too. Neglecting to do this could get you slapped with a $140 fine.

Stockholm, Sweden

Ticket price: $3.07
Annual ridership: 307 million

Stockholm’s Tunnelbana boasts 100 well-decorated stations, leading to the transit system being known as the “longest art gallery in the world.” And creativity in design isn’t the only reason the Swedes are on the cutting edge. Riders of the Tunnelbana are some of the first in the world to be able to buy a metro ticket via text message. Commuters might be better served visiting an operator instead, though, as a text message pass costs at least $1.53 more than a regular ticket.

Toronto, Canada

Ticket price: $3 (as of Jan. 3, 2010)
Annual ridership: 471 million

Who knew that the tiny TTC, with only 69 stations in a city of 2.5 million, could rank so high on the world list of most expensive transit systems? Public outcry against the TTC has brewed for years, yet the commission’s decision to increase fares from $2.75 seems to finally have people bubbling over. While the system is expanding across Toronto, recent media reports suggest the city’s proposed 2010 budget would allocate a whopping 59 per cent of taxpayer dollars towards building — not operating — the TTC. Factor in the cost to run Canada’s most controversial transit system, and another fare hike isn’t hard to see down the road.

Sydney, Australia

Ticket price: $3.12
Annual Ridership: 3.5 million

The most modest entry on this list, Sydney’s transit system is also the only one without a subway line. But while the city’s Metro Light Rail covers just 14 stops, don’t let its smaller infrastructure fool you. Sydney’s expansive bus system will cost you over the three dollar mark and — with a proposed subway system slated for a 2014 opening — perhaps soon will increase.

Brussels, Belgium

Ticket price: $3.16
Annual ridership: 136 million

Commuters in Brussels can save a bit of money ($0.47) by paying in advance, but the average rider who buys a ticket onboard the city’s metro is in for a hit on the wallet. The Belgium capital is home to some transit innovation: A demonstration of the city’s streetcars, for example, will run on a 1.8 km track in Vancouver at the 2010 Olympic games. Yet few accolades can ease the sting of a fare on the Brussels Metro, the third most expensive subway system in all of Europe.

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3 Responses to “The most expensive transit rides – from MSN News”

  1. Warren Says:

    Not sure where MSN gets their figures for the London Underground. A single cash fare for downtown London zones is 6.70 pounds, more like $11.50 Canadian. And they have 6 zones. If you want to compare to Tranlink’s 3 zones, you’re looking at more like Zones 1-4 in London, which will cost you 9.50 pounds cash. (staggering $16 Cdn).

    Of course there are huge discounts to get people to use the Oyster card or a pass.

    What Translink is really missing is the 3 to 7 day tourist passes for their system.

    To answer your question, we will never reach the cost of transit in London. Toronto? I doubt it.

    Zweisystem replies: From the Transport for London website – Daily price you mention 6.70 Pounds, is capped and is the most you will be charged a day when you use Oyster to pay as you go on bus, Tube, tram, DLR, London Overground and some National Rail services. It is not a single fare. With privatization Transport for London’s fare structure is rather difficult to decipher. but you can travel, with an Oyster card for GPS 6.70 in zones 1 and 2.

    From Transport for London

    Journeys in:
    Adult Peak Off-Peak
    Zones 1-2 £6.70 £5.10
    Zones 1-3 £8.10 £5.80
    Zones 1-4 £9.50 £5.80
    Zones 1-5 £12.10 £7.00
    Zones 1-6 £14.30 £7.00
    Zones 1-9 £15.70 £8.50
    Zones 1-8 + Watford Junction £17.50 £13.30
    Zone 2 £6.70 £4.60
    Zones 2-3 £8.10 £4.60
    Zones 2-6 £8.50 £4.60
    Zones 2-9 £10.10 £5.10
    Zones 2-8 + Watford Junction £12.10 £7.10

  2. Red frog Says:

    Zweisystem is correct.. as anyone can see by checking the site of TfL (transport for London) at and
    Most tourists only need tickets for zones 1-2. People who live and work in London, where I have been many many times, do manage. Comparing fares is asinine anyway as, while fares in London, Paris, Tokyo etc. are expensive, these towns have a huge transit system that dwarf Vancouver system and prices, wages and other things cannot be easily compared.

    A better comparison might be between Vancouver and mid-size European towns that are regional capitals.
    Lyon (France), for example, has 1.8 million w/ the suburbs. It has 4 subway lines, 3 LRT lines, 100 urban bus lines, 10 commuter rail lines etc.
    A single ticket is 1.60 Euros, a monthly pass E. 46.20 to E. 62.70 (passes are loaded on a smart card).
    Milano is another biggish city with a good transit system, where fares aren’t that expensive (45.50 to 75.50 Euros monthly for a pass good for Milano urban transit itself plus trains to the suburbs)
    A monthly pass for Milano only cost 30 Euros.

    Zweisystem replies: I very much welcome your comments.

  3. Nestor Says:

    Hahahaha in Tenerife we have a 15 km tram líne and The journey (in metropolitan region) costs 1.30€ (its about The quarter part of Madrid), in The south The journey costs (using bus lines ,because they aré making a special metro for The south) about 2.25 eur(4 only 80km) and for The north is The same except for The north AirPort and south AirPort, there you have to add 2 eur plus The bus official traject so extract your conclussions , theese is 100%real

    Zweisystem replies: €1.30 = CAD$1.87. – €2.25 = CAD$3.25

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