If London transport gets any more expensive we'll all be walking

24.02.14
2 minute read
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Here’s how London transport stacks up against the competition.

Think Londoners are just incessant grumblers droning on about the high cost of living? Well, check this out: TransferWise compared the price of going a mile on five modes of travel in five major cities. And London takes the cake – make that the gold-dusted truffle gateaux.

OK, we know you natives wouldn’t even consider boarding the Tube without an Oyster card, but for the purposes of straight comparison, we’ve priced it out without fare cards in any city – and, sorry London, £4.70 for zone 1 Tube fare is just obnoxious. Of course, any London party queen knows they’re going to pay through the nose to take a black cab at 1 am, but £8.80 to go a mile in mild traffic during business hours? You gotta be kidding. I’ll walk, thank you. Speaking of travel cards, while I treasure my commemorative Oyster card decked out with William and Kate’s wedding pic, nothing comes close to Hong Kong’s awesome Octopus card. Sure, it looks similar, but can you charge a Coke, a bowl of fish balls, a Starbucks latte or a Big Mac on your Oyster? You can in HK! OK, no one gets into a pedicab expecting a bargain – not this Texas family which racked up a $442 tab rolling around NYC, and certainly not my Jewish friends whose weekly Shabbat rides through Marylebone get their own substantial line in the family budget. Likewise, no sane New Yorker would ever commute to work in a horse and carriage. Granted some of these prices are estimates, since free agents like urban pedicabs pretty much make their own prices, but that aside, we’re huge fans of Berlin’s no-fuss system of a set price for pretty much whatever mode you choose (even dogs ride the S-Bahn for the discounted set fare of €1.60!). How practical. Call us a broken record, but Hong Kong comes out tops in the miles-for-money comparison; for less than £1 (or even $1 USD!) you can get from one side to the other on any form of public transportation. Now that really does take the cake.
by Lauren Cooper for TransferWise

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