This is the second of our fare benchmark reports. This year, we have added two additional cities – Houston and Istanbul to our analysis. As noted in our 2015 report, bus, rail and ferry fares are often the subject of scrutiny and questioning by the customers who are most affected by price and product changes. With few or no alternatives other than private cars and taxis, transit customers are often at the mercy of the governments and operators who make the decisions about the prices to be charged for the services they provide.
This has not changed in the last 12 months. In fact, in Australia at least, public transport fares have been the subject of public scrutiny with reviews of fare structures and products occurring in both Queensland and NSW with significant changes to fare structures and levels being implemented or planned for the near future.
Public transport fares have also been at the forefront of elections, both locally and in London where a fares freeze was a key election promise of Sadiq Khan, now the Mayor of London.
As we hoped for last year’s benchmarking study, the 2016 report is intended to contribute to the public debate about fares and fare levels by providing some comparative data about fares across a number of cities across the world. The analysis represents a small slice of the potential ways to think about and analyse the impact of the cost of transport for public transport users.