Explainer: The cost of transport in London is higher than any other major city
If you live in London, you will have noticed public transport costs have gone up. And by quite a big chunk – from the 5th of March TfL fares went up by an average of 5.9 per cent.
This makes the UK the country with the most expensive public transport in the world, according to a survey by Picodi. A monthly pass – meant as unlimited travel with all means of transportation within the city limits – is £222. For zone 1 and 2 it is less expensive, but still £156 per month.
The contrast with other cities is stark. In Amsterdam, an unlimited monthly pass is around £87. In Madrid, it’s only £19. In Dublin it is £136 – closest to what we’re used to in London. But then in New York it is only £104.
The rise in fares in the capital city comes after a five-year-long freeze in prices. Mayor Sadiq Khan said his hands were “tied” and rising fares was the only way to keep TfL going after the prolonged fight with the government over emergency funding during and after the pandemic.
The rise comes as the cost-of-living crisis makes the price of everything – from your coffee to your Pret sandwich – go up bit by bit every month. It eats into people’s salaries – the unlimited monthly pass in London equals 7.4 per cent of the average net wage of someone who lives and works in the city.
In contrast, the price of the monthly pass in Amsterdam is only 2.9 per cent of the average net wage, and in New York is only 2.1 per cent.
London also has the most expensive single ticket, for the price of £4.30. This is much more expensive than Oslo in Norway, where a single ticket is £3.21 – despite Oslo being considered one of the most expensive cities in Europe.
Not the most cheery news for your Friday afternoon, is it? But don’t lose hope: if you can, get a bike – spring should be coming any time soon, after all.