Any other business

London has most expensive and dirtiest transport operation in the world

2 min read

12 January 2015

Former deputy editor

As London is in the midst of its £14.8bn Crossrail project, a study claims the city has the most expensive and filthiest transport service globally.

The research from strategy and pricing consultancy Simon-Kucher & Partners comes as Boris Johnson is eagerly promoting the forthcoming Crossrail, which Real Business investigated in December to discover how it will affect businesses in 2015 as development continues and in 2017 when it officially opens to the public.

The UK capital was compared against 14 other major cities worldwide including New York, Sydney, Berlin and Paris, with the study observing size, airport connections, cleanliness, cost, payment options, operational hours and accessibility to find London is the dirtiest and most expensive travel network.

Dimitris Hiotis, partner at Simon-Kucher & Partners, said, “London prices have historically been higher than other major cities around the world. This is a result of the capital’s excessive demand for a fairly restricted, in capacity terms, transportation network.

“Of course, London is investing heavily in its transport infrastructure with projects like Crossrail 1 and 2, which will offer greater differentiation, value and capacity for passengers. However, these have not yet been delivered to increase supply.”

Indeed, those commuting to London were handed an average travel cost increase of 2.5 per cent on 2 January, which was a result of Johnson offering lower fares to people working on a flexible and part-time basis to provide annual savings of between £200 to £600.

Comparatively, Sao Paulo and Tokyo were ranked as the most affordable networks, while Zurich has the cleanest service. Additionally, data showed that London is still behind Dubai, Zurich and Paris for frequency of airport connections, averaging at 16 per hour compared to 20 and 19 respectively.

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Hiotis continued: “Transport for London could utilise demand data gathered through the Oyster and contactless payment systems to offer more flexible pricing options to Londoners. This could range from a simple off-peak discount that incentivises travel in less busy times to a more flexible season ticket concept, whereby your monthly expenditure on pay as you go is capped to the equivalent of a monthly season ticket price.”

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