Top three cheapest countries for public transport costs
1. Sri Lanka
- Average one-way fare: USD$0.17
- Average monthly pass: USD$5.79
Based on our data, Sri Lanka has the cheapest indexed public transport costs. However, almost one year ago in June 2022, Sri Lanka was in the midst of a fuel crisis that saw people queuing up for days to secure petrol, which saw fuel prices rise dramatically.1
This undoubtedly had an impact on public transport costs. Fortunately, in March 2023 the Sri Lankan Government announced it had received economic relief in a US$2.9 billion International Monetary Fund bailout agreement, and that fuel prices would be slashed.2 These brought much needed relief, which in turn affected public transport fares.
As of May 2023, the average one-way fare was US$0.17 – the second-cheapest in the index after Uzbekistan at US$0.13. Sri Lanka also had the cheapest monthly pass at US$5.79 on average.
- Average one-way fare: USD$0.18
- Average monthly pass: USD$7.01
The second-best index score for public transport fares was for Pakistan. Pakistan had the third-cheapest one-way tickets at US$0.18 a fare and the second-cheapest monthly pass at US$7.01 on average. Two of Pakistan’s cities, Islamabad and Karachi, were in the top 10 cheapest cities at US$0.14 and US$0.19 a fare, when looking at the city level.
- Average one-way fare: USD$0.19
- Average monthly pass: USD$7.57
The nation with the third-cheapest public transport fares is Nepal. The small mountainous nation has the fifth-cheapest one-way fares at US$0.19 a ticket, and the third-cheapest monthly pass at US$7.57, on average.
Nepal’s capital city, Kathmandu, is the eight-cheapest city out of the list of cities with an adult one-way ticket costing an average of US$0.19.