Public Transportation Prices

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Public Transportation Prices

Within the space of about 10 days in July 2004, I rode on the world's most expensive and least expensive public transportation systems: the new Las Vegas monorail, and the Mexico City metro system.  I'm referring to the cost to ride the train, not the cost of building the system.

The Expensive Las Vegas Monorail

The Monorail Society (a bunch of geeks who like to ride monorails, and advocate them) has a web page about the Las Vegas Monorail.  Also, you can see the Official Web Page of the Las Vegas Monorail, and the Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada's Monorail Page.


Phase 1 of the monorail opened a month ago today.  It has 30,811 riders per day.

Cost: $3 one-way
Most Expensive Ride: $6/mile (half mile between Harrah's & Flamingo Stations) ($3.73/km)
Least Expensive Ride: $0.77/mile (the whole 3.9 mile length). ($0.48/km)

However, the monorail was privately funded, costing the government nothing.

Phase 2 (to downtown) will be a joint private/public venture, to open in 2008.  And even later, there are plans to exend it to the airport.

The Cheap Mexico City Metro

The Metro in Mexico City (, which began in the late 1960's is at the other end of the scale.  It handles 5,000,000 passengers per day.

Cost: $0.176 one-way (2 pesos)
Most Expensive Ride: $0.35/mile (between two stations a half-mile apart) ($0.22/km)
Least Expensive Ride: $0.012/mile (the whole length of Line B) ($0.0074/km)

I'm not sure of the least distance between two stations, I'm just assuming a half mile.  Also, the least expensive ride could be much lower if you transfer lines.

So I don't know about other parts of the world, but at least in North America, I believe these two be the most expensive and least expensive public transportation systems.  If anyone knows some statistics about other parts of the world, let me know below.

Los Angeles

I ride the Metro Green Line in Los Angeles almost every day.  It costs $1.25 to go the 16 miles between the Norwalk station and the Aviation (LAX) station, so that's $0.078/mile ($0.0485/km).  It has 27,587 average riders per weekday.

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Created and maintained by Matthew Weathers. Last updated Apr 20, 2006.