Sunday, February 27, 2011

Brisbane vs everywhere else

BrizCommuter has already showed how Brisbane compares unfavourably to both Perth and Melbourne when it comes to fares and rail service frequency. It has often been said that public transport in Brisbane is still cheaper than major world cities. Thus BrizCommuter has taken a look at how Brisbane compares to other cities, for a 5km journey from the CBD to inner-suburbs with a single peak adult fare. Exchange rates used were as of 27/02/2011.

London (Underground) - $3.95 (Oyster card single)
Brisbane (all modes) - $3.11 (go card single)
Berlin (all modes) - $3.10 (paper ticket)
Madrid (Metro) - $2.70 (single)
Paris (Metro) - $2.30 (paper ticket single)
New York (MTA Subway/Bus) - $2.25 (Metrocard single)
London (Bus) - $2.05 (Oyster card single)
Tokyo (Tokyo Metro) - $1.92 (regular ticket/PASMO single)
Los Angeles (Metro) - $1.47 (base fare)
Santiago (Metro) - $1.20 (paper ticket single)
Bangkok (Skytrain) - $0.96 (single)
Singapore (SMRT) -  $0.95 (single)
Hong Kong (MTR) - $0.84 (Octopus card single)
Shanghai (Metro) - $0.45 (single-ride ticket)
Mexico City (Metro) - $0.24 (single ticket)

Out of 15 cities in the comparison, Brisbane had the second highest single adult fare at $3.11. Only London is more expensive, although it should be considered that London has capped daily fares, as well as weekly, monthly, and yearly options. There are no such periodical options for frequent commuters in Brisbane. A paper ticket in Brisbane is 65c more expensive than for an Oyster Card single fare in London! With the possible exception of Los Angeles, all of the transport networks in this comparison have a considerably more frequent service than Brisbane. The Australian Dollar is strong at the moment, and this comparison hasn't taken into account financial differences between cities, such as average wages. However, it appears that Brisbanites are paying above the odds for a mediocre public transport service. It is more evidence that TransLink's run of huge fare rises in an attempt to decrease Queensland Government subsidy is seriously ripping off Brisbane's public transport users!

Update 01/03/2011

The Courier Mail has run this story in both their paper, and website. A poll asking if "Brisbane's public transport is too expensive" was at the time of this update showing more than 95% saying yes. There are also an incredible 395 comments and counting. This goes to show that Brisbane's commuters are very angry about paying higher fares, with mediocre public transport, and minimal service improvements. It also goes to show that only TransLink and the Queensland Government believe their own spin!


  1. My travel bill:
    January 2010 - $56 a week
    February 2011 - $77 a week
    Now if only I could afford another $21 a week.
    No wonder the traffic is so bad.

  2. But it is more important to know how those costs relate to wages and general living costs in each of those locations. This is especially important given the high labour costs in Brisbane.

  3. When BrizCommuter has a spare few days, he will try and repeat this taking into account average wages.

  4. I am a flight attendant that is based at the domestic airport. To travel to work by train from robina return fare is $56 by car including toll $24. takes an hour longer to get to work by train than by car. Also the airtrains hours of operation are limiting. In the last couple of years work has paid for a yearly train pass that covers south brisbane to the domestic airport. From memory a paper ticket is around $15 one way from robina to south brisbane. If I use the go card it's around $10.50.the airtrain customer service employee said to me in order to use my yearly airtrain pass I then have to jump off & on at the platform at central to swap off /on my go card. On the weekends you have to swap your go card at central upstairs so therefore have to wait half an hour for the next train. The totally traveling time is then 2 hours & 10 mins not including the time of car travel to the train station. Not worth it ! Saving money & time by traveling by car.

  5. The lack of concern being shown to the drivers of roads and users of public transport demonstrates lack of concern for the people. It is time we had a caring Government.


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