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When traveling I am trying to avoid using the underground/metro/subway because I want to see the city I am visiting, but sometimes for long distances it is much quicker than any other form of transport.

So which city has the cheapest underground system? I'm looking for the cheapest available single fare price. It is okay if I have to use a pre-paid card as long as I can buy it right in the station.

On contender is Mexico City: Metro Prices in Mexico City in 2008

Photo credit: Peter Hahndorf

In 2008 the price for a single ride was 2 pesos or € 0.10 (US$ 0.15), it is now up to 3 pesos, but that is still very cheap.

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1  
Cheapest for you or for the locals? –  andra Jul 9 '12 at 14:31
    
Public transport in Tallinn is free to the passengers (but there is no metro, only bus, trams and trolleybus). Free public transport is a thing now, but mostly in small to medium-sized cities with bus networks but no metro. –  Relaxed Oct 4 at 6:56

3 Answers 3

up vote 9 down vote accepted

According to PriceOfTravel.com:

*all prices converted into US dollars in mid-November, 2010

Price ranges reflect shortest to longest rides in most cities. Tourists are most likely to pay the lowest price.

  • Caracas, Venezuela (metro, bus) $0.12 – $0.28
  • Cairo, Egypt (metro) $0.17
  • Delhi, India (metro) $0.18 – $0.66
  • La Paz, Bolivia (bus) $0.19 – $0.50
  • Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (light rail, bus) $0.22 – $0.76
  • Marrakech, Morocco (bus) $0.24 – $0.61
  • Mexico City, Mexico (metro) $0.24
  • Panama City, Panama (bus) $0.25
  • Quito, Ecuador (bus) $0.25 – $0.35
  • Hong Kong, China (tram, ferry) $0.26 – $0.39
  • Buenos Aires, Argentina (bus, subway) $0.28 – $0.32
  • Beijing, China (subway) $0.30
  • Dakar, Senegal (bus) $0.31
  • Lima, Peru (bus) $0.36 – $0.64
  • Auckland, New Zealand (bus, train) $0.38 – $1.38
  • Macau, China (bus) $0.41 – $0.83
  • Shanghai, China (metro) $0.45 – $1.35
  • Cancun, Mexico (bus) $0.49
  • Taipei, Taiwan (metro, bus) $0.49 – $2.14
  • Bangkok, Thailand (skytrain, subway) $0.50 – $1.34
  • Singapore, Singapore (subway, light rail) $0.61 – $1.53
  • St. Petersburg, Russia (tram, bus, metro) $0.61 – $0.71
  • Cartagena, Colombia (bus) $0.64 – $0.80
  • Dubai, UAE (metro) $0.68 – $2.18
  • Montevideo, Uruguay (bus) $0.76
  • Sofia, Bulgaria (tram, bus, metro) $0.80
  • Phuket, Thailand (bus) $0.83, $1.17
  • Moscow, Russia (metro) $0.84
  • Krakow, Poland (bus, tram) $0.86
  • Seoul, South Korea (subway, bus) $0.89 – $1.77
  • Prague, Czech Republic (tram, bus, metro) $1.00 – $1.44
  • Santiago, Chile (metro, bus) $1.00 – $1.20
  • Istanbul, Turkey (tram, bus, metro, ferry) $1.03
  • Cape Town, South Africa (bus) $1.14
  • Lisbon, Portugal (tram, bus, metro) $1.16 – $3.97
  • New Orleans, USA (tram, bus) $1.25 – $1.50
  • Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (metro, bus) $1.28 – $1.74
  • Budapest, Hungary (tram, bus, metro) $1.28 – $2.32
  • Athens, Greece (tram, bus, metro) $1.37
  • Madrid, Spain (metro, bus) $1.37
  • Monaco, Monaco (bus) $1.37
  • Rome, Italy (tram, bus, metro) $1.37
  • Tallinn, Estonia (bus, tram, trolley) $1.39 – $1.74
  • Dubrovnik, Croatia (bus) $1.48 – $1.85
  • Los Angeles, USA (bus, metro) $1.50
  • Chicago, USA (metro, bus) $1.54 - $1.73
  • Dublin, Ireland (tram, bus) $1.58 – $2.47
  • Nice, France (bus) $1.58
  • Tel Aviv, Israel (bus) $1.58
  • Washington DC, USA (metro) $1.60 – $5.00
  • Bruges, Belgium (bus) $1.64 - $2.74

I'll stop there, as they just get more expensive after that.

So according to this, Mexico City prices have gone up to US$0.24 now, so your best has now lost out to a few other cities, and now Caracas would probably take the prize.

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3  
I think it is Pyongyang, North Korea ;) –  RoflcoptrException Jul 9 '12 at 14:18
2  
Boy do those prices make me proud of Sydney sitting on $2.10-$8.20. OTOH you can travel up to 522.32km one way on that $8.20 fare, so there is that. –  dlanod Jul 9 '12 at 23:30
    
That price for Shanghai is for the subway--3 Yuan for the shorter runs. Most bus fares are 2 Yuan. –  Loren Pechtel Jul 20 '12 at 20:41
    
If we include busses, there are more than 30 city-wide networks which are entirely free. I think you could remove cities without a metro from the list. –  Relaxed Nov 13 at 18:29

I'd like to add a second answer, because it's one that is cheaper but not generally accessible to do individually as a traveller.

"The Pyongyang Metro, in North Korea was designed to operate every few minutes. During the rush hours, the trains can operate at a minimum interval of 2 minutes.

It is also one of the cheapest in the world to ride, at only 5 KP₩ (about $0.03 USD) per ticket."

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Technically there's a $0.00 free-fare zone on the light rail train in Minneapolis as well as the tramway network in Tallinn, if you consider either of those a metro.

Several metros aren't on PriceOfTravel.com list, but are just as cheap:

  • $0.12 Dnipropetrovsk, Ukraine (1.50 UAH)
  • $0.15 Kiev, Ukraine (2.00 UAH)
  • $0.15 Kharkov, Ukraine (2.00 UAH)
  • $0.24 Yerevan, Armenia
  • $0.29 Tbilisi, Georgia
  • $0.35 Minsk, Belarus

The already low fares in Ukraine are even lower converted to USD than in the past because of to currency devaluation due to the current political situation.

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