February 13, 2012

What Does Bus Fare Cost?

The other day I mentioned that I don't take the bus myself simply because it would take too long to get to work.   But for a lot of people taking the bus or other mass transit can be a great way to save money.    The cost of mass transit varies from city to city.

I found this document that lists single adult fare rates for a variety transit systems.   If you skim through that you can get an idea of how prices vary.   I also then looked up the websites for several cities to see how their prices for single fares and monthly passes compared.

Here is a table of some of the larger cities in the USA as well as a handful of other good size cities, the link to the transit website is in the name of the city :



single monthly
New York City $2.25 $104
Los Angeles $1.50 $75
Chicago $2.25 $86
Houston $1.25 n/a
Philadelphia $2.00 $83
Phoenix $1.75 $55
San Antonio $1.10 $30
San Diego $2.25 $72
Dallas $1.75 $65
San Jose $2.00 $70



Arlington TX $1.50 $50
Wichita $1.75 $90
Minneapolis $1.75 $59

Generally the costs fall within a certain range.  Typical single basic fare ride tickets are in the $1.10 to $2.25 range.      The median is $1.75 and the average is $1.78.   The basic fare can be for a shorter ride and mass transit programs often charge a higher fare for longer rides.   I did not record the higher fare rates but they typically run closer to $3 per trip.   That would be the kind of ride that takes you all the way across town in a larger city. 


For a monthly pass the median is $71 and the average is $70.  If you take the bus frequently like a daily commute to work then a monthly pass will easily pay for itself.

Bottom Line:   The bus typically costs around $1.75 per ride and $70 for a monthly pass, give or take.

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