The Cost of Commuting Around The World

There is no denying the world is getting smaller. More and more people are turning into global nomads, intrigued by experiencing life in a new country or culture. But will this trend stop if the cost living in the new destination is too steep?

Expert Market has compiled a report to find out how much the cost of commuting is as a percentage of monthly salaries in over 50 cities around the world.

To calculate this we used 2015 income data from Numbeo and cross referenced it with the fares of a one day unlimited travel pass or return ticket for each respective city’s metro or public system provider.

The US

For the purpose of this report we looked at the US cities with the biggest metro systems – New York City, Boston, Washington and San Francisco. Despite having some of the highest incomes found in the report, the cost of commuting amounts to a small fraction of monthly salaries; 4%, 7%, 9% and 8% respectively.

The Commuting Criminals

Europe emerged as the worst region for income to travel cost ratio, with Venice being the worst offender. Commuters in Italy’s City of Water can expect to spend anywhere up to 26% of their monthly earnings getting to work.

Top 10 Most Expensive Cities for Commuting

City Average Monthly Income Cost of Unlimited One Day Travel Pass in US Dollars Salary less cost of travel % of salary spent on commuting
Venice $1,786.59 $22.40 $1,316.19 26%
Barcelona $1,757.97 $17.15 $1,397.82 20%
Budapest $616.53 $5.94 $491.79 20%
Madrid $1,577.27 $13.77 $1,288.10 18%
Warsaw $877.99 $6.52 $741.07 16%
Oslo $3,165.48 $22.06 $2,702.22 15%
Athens $784.76 $5.03 $679.13 13%
London $2,921.11 $17.42 $2,555.29 13%
Paris $2,481.50 $13.71 $2,193.59 12%
Buenos Aires $1,126.51 $5.95 $1,001.56 11%

It will come as no surprise to many that the vibrant city of London placed in the top 10 most expensive places to commute, with the One Day Travelcard being among the most costly of this ticket type across the world.

Let’s all go to Lausanne

Switzerland is renowned for being one of the most prosperous countries where residents enjoy the highest private incomes in the world. This means that relative to other nations like the UK and US, the cost of living in Switzerland is significantly higher, and you would expect public transport to reflect this. On the contrary – a one day travel pass in Lausanne consumes a meagre 6% of monthly salaries meaning workers’ have more money in their pocket to enjoy the highlights of Switzerland like the Swiss Alps or Rhine Waterfalls.

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