About the Public Transport Fares Benchmarking Database

The Public Transport Fares Benchmarking Database provides information on the price of public transport fares across 90+ cities across the world. It aims to provide transit companies, governments and public transport users with the ability to compare fare structures and fare levels between cities and towns in different countries across the world.

What data is collected?

The following data is collected

  1. Fare levels
  2. Ticket type (for example, single, weekly or monthly passes and so on)
  3. Ticket medium (for example, paper tickets, smartcards, tokens and so on)
  4. All time periods, Peak only, Off-Peak, Weekends, Public Holidays and so on.
  5. Passenger type (for example, full fare / adult, concession fare, seniors and so on)
  6. The modes of transport that the fare applies to.

How is the data collected?

Data is manually collected from publicly available timetables published by transit agencies in each of the cities in the database.

How are fares compared across countries?

Fare prices are compared across countries be calculating by calculating the time that a person would need to work at both the statutory minimum wage and the average wage applying in each city in the database.

For cities without official minimum wages (e.g. Oslo in Norway) data on wages paid to traditionally low paid workers was used.  For countries that only offer monthly minimum wage, hourly minimum wage has been extrapolated based on a specific number of working hours per week. Using minimum and average wages to normalize fare prices has its drawbacks. One limitation is that the minimum wage does not represent public transport users across all income brackets, and ages and does not necessarily reflect the cost of fares on those not in employment (for example, school students and retirees). Nevertheless, using the time required to work at either the minimum or the average wage allows a consistent basis for comparison between different fares for public transport services, which are not traded internationally and are not otherwise directly comparable across cities or countries. 

Sources for the information in the fares database.

Data used to populate the database comes from a range of publicly available, online sources including fare schedules and fare tables from websites published by the transit agencies included in the database. Minimum wage and average wage data is accessed from a number of different government agencies including statistical agencies and those responsible for the setting and administration of minimum wages. In some instances, non-government sources have been used for minimum and average wages where official data is not available.

All data sources for the fares database can be found here.