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Which is most expensive metro network in the world?

Posted by Luke Upton on Jan 9, 2015

Warsaw_MetroA new study has compared the price of travelling on 15 major international cities including Paris, Sydney, Santiago, New York, Warsaw (pictured right) and London. The research, from global strategy and pricing consultants, Simon-Kucher & Partners, has also analysed the public transport operators across a number of other criteria including the size of network, airport connections, cleanliness, price, payment options, operational hours and accessibility. The research was carried out in August and September 2014 and consisted of field study, mystery passengers (where the metro network is used by analysts posing as regular users) and desk research. So which is most expensive metro network in the world?

Well, according to the study it’s British captial London that claims the dubious honour of having the most expensive local public transport when compared to 14 other major cities around the world. Most affordable were Sao Paulo and Tokyo, which both scored better than the other major cities including Warsaw, Zurich and Paris. However, Zurich had the cleanest network.

This will come as no surprise to those living in the capital, many of whom are bracing themselves for yet another average fare rise of 3.1% from 2nd of January 2015 – an increase three times higher than current inflation. In the past five years, London has endured inflation-busting charges with bus fares up 55% and some Tube fares up 30% in the same period.

Analysis of 15 major cities transport networks (Cheapest>Most expensive)

1 Sao Paulo 

2 Tokyo 

3 Dubai 

4 New York  / Santiago 

6 Warsaw 

7 Zurich 

8 Paris 

9 Madrid 

10 Milan 

11 Sydney 

12 Amsterdam 

13 Singapore 

14 Berlin 

15 London 

Dimitris Hiotis, Partner at Simon-Kucher & Partners, commenting on the study, said, “London prices have historically been higher than other major cities around the world. This is a result of the capital’s excessive demand for a fairly restricted, in capacity terms, transportation network.  Of course, London is investing heavily in its transport infrastructure with projects like Crossrail 1 and 2, which will offer greater differentiation, value and capacity for passengers. However, these have not yet been delivered to increase supply.

“Transport for London could utilise demand data gathered through the Oyster and contactless payment systems to offer more flexible pricing options to Londoners. This could range from a simple off-peak discount that incentivises travel in less busy times to a more flexible season ticket concept, whereby your monthly expenditure on pay as you go is capped to the equivalent of a monthly season ticket price. Mayor Boris Johnson’s recent announcement of a new flexible fares system for part-time workers, for example, is a step in the right direction that will benefit thousands of workers across the city and make travel more affordable.” 

The study also reveals other findings:

  • Dubai offers most frequent airport connections.
  • Cheapest monthly tickets in Dubai and Warsaw
  • Highest daily- and monthly ticket discounts in Zurich
  • Senior citizens travel for free in Sao Paulo and London
  • Highest transparency in Zurich, Sao Paulo and Tokyo
  • Widest range of payment alternatives in Zurich
  • Longest customer service hours in Dubai
  • Singapore's public transport most disabled-friendly
  • London with best international fit: 11 languages

To read the fascinating full report click here and to learn more about Simon-Kucher & Partners www.simon-kucher.com

Download free Meeting Passenger Demands Report

SmartRail Europe 2016

Topics: Passenger Information Systems

Luke Upton

Written by Luke Upton


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