Ground TransportationTaxi2Airport’s research breaks down what a traveller has to pay when using public transportation in countries around Asia

Which Asian cities have the cheapest cost of public transportation?

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The Light Rail Transit system is one of the public transport options in Kuala Lumpur, the city that provides the cheapest average-range ride in Southeast Asia.
The Light Rail Transit system is one of the public transport options in Kuala Lumpur, the city that provides the cheapest average-range ride in Southeast Asia. Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Sometimes it’s best to take public transportation when you’re travelling around a city especially if it’s prone to traffic jams.

How much would the cost of it set you back though? After regularly receiving this question from tourists, taxi drivers of Taxi2Airport decided to investigate and came up with the cost of public transport in 80 cities across 53 countries, in consultation with travel expenses database PriceofTravel (prices as of January 2019).

The most common modes of public transportation
The bus, tram, and metro are the most common means of public transport worldwide. Of all the tourist cities surveyed, 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, both with a share of around 12.3%. On average, a ‘single short ride’ with one of these four means of transport globally costs €1,68 (US$1.87).

Costs in Asia
The cheapest in Asia is surprisingly Hong Kong, an average-range ride costs €0.32 followed by Delhi, India at €0.43, Macau at €0.54, Shanghai, China at €0.65, with Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia at €0.66 rounding up the top-5 cheapest.

Unsurprisingly Tokyo, Japan is the most expensive at €1.95. Dubai, United Arab Emirates at €1.13 and Taipei, Taiwan at €1.09 round off the top-3 most expensive.

Bangkok comes in slightly more expensive than Singapore with €0.96 versus €0.95.

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-air-conditioned buses that are cheaper than the Skytrain and subway, but it's extremely rare to see any tourists aboard.

Costs from around the world
The cheapest rides with public transport can be made in Cairo (Egypt) and Buenos Aires (Argentina), where public transport costs -on average, €0.11. Contrary to those cities, a one-way public transport trip in Venice costs € 7.67 when the water bus is taken. In addition, public transport in Copenhagen has shown the most expensive one-way ticket, which can cost up to € 13.90 per ride.

The 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, the card would make the sensible choice.


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