SA has the cheapest transport in the world

While South Africa’s biggest cities continue to fight an increasingly burdensome tolling system on its roads, a new index finds that the country has the cheapest transport in the world.

The Transportation Price Index, compiled by, looks at train, bus and flight information for 51 countries across 5 continents, and ranks them by cost per kilometre (or per 100 kilometres, with flights).

GoEuro reviewed the modes of transport in each country, using factors such as distance, schedules, and taxes among all transport options.

Countries were then graded based on the most commonly traveled routes both regionally and inter city by kilometer, based only on the modes of transport available within that country.

There is one caveat, however: numbers in the index have not been weighted against GDP per capita or PPP of the countries involved, therefore the results do not reflect wages, infrastructure or quality in the transport industry.

Top 10 cheapest countries for transport

# Country
1 South Africa
2 Albania
3 Malaysia
3 Thailand
5 Ukraine
6 Turkey
7 Latvia
8 Mexico
9 Egypt
10 China

Top 10 most expensive countries for transport

# Country
51 Switzerland
50 Austria
49 Belgium
48 Israel
47 Denmark
46 Norway
45 Japan
44 The Netherlands
43 Finland
42 Slovenia


South Africa topped the list for cheapest train prices in the world, with an average spend of $1.88 (R20.02) per 100 kilometres.

Denmark had the most expensive train fare – charging $39.84 (R424.28) per 100 kilometres.

“Train prices can vary greatly depending on the type of train and the distance of the ride; we accounted for train speed, regional vs long distance, and different class services,” GoEuro said.

Bus Price Index Top 10
Bus Price Index Top 10


Results on buses were based on taxes, cost per Kilometer (comparing several companies offering city to city service) and the costs of gasoline/Diesel vs other combustibles including renewables.

South Africa ranked with the 5th cheapest bus fees at $3.67 (R39.08) per 100km. Egypt was the cheapest – $1.88 (R20.02) per kilometre – while the Netherlands was the costliest at $28.58 (R304.37) per 100km.

Train Price Index Top 10
Train Price Index Top 10


Flight prices were based on the cheapest regular flights between the most populous cities in each country and then calculated the average price per 100km.

South Africa ranked with the 3rd cheapest flights in the world, with an average cost per 100km at $11.63 (R123.86).

India listed with the cheapest flights – $10.36 (R110.33) per 100km – while Finland had the most expensive flights – $138.90 (R1,479.24) per 100km.

Flight Price Index Top 10
Flight Price Index Top 10

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SA has the cheapest transport in the world