Auckland has the third most expensive public transport in the world, according to a report by Deutsche Bank.

In Auckland you will need to shell out US$122.90, or NZ$174.74 for a monthly ticket to get around the city by bus, train and ferry, says the 2017 report.

Only London at NZ$247 to travel on the tube for a month and Dublin at $187.11 are more expensive than Auckland in the study of nearly 50 cities.

If you increase subsidies for public transport and reduce the need to build new roads it doesn't necessarily end up a net increase in cost

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Wellington is the 12th most expensive city at $143.89 for a monthly ticket.

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Auckland Transport HOP monthly passes vary from $150 for ferry services to the North Shore to $325 for use on Gulf Harbour ferry services. A bus and train monthly pass is $215.

An AT spokesman said when calculating fares the council body has to find a balance between affordable and appealing public transport and providing value for money for ratepayers and taxpayers who subsidise fares.

In February, Transport Minister Phil Twyford floated the idea of cheaper train and bus fares to tackle gridlock in cities like Auckland and Wellington.

He said the Government could increase subsidies for public transport in exchange for councils getting people out of cars and into public transport, cycling and walking.

The idea came shortly after AT raised many public transport fares to try to stay within a 47 per cent to 50 per cent cost-recovery range. AT spends more than $400 million a year running the city's buses, trains and ferries.

Today, Twyford said the Government had put additional funding into the Budget for public transport and was keen to see what plans AT has to achieve that shift.

"There is a range of things they could do, including providing more frequent services, putting in place more bus priority measures or T3 lanes for example, or reducing public transport fares. I look forward to seeing their plans, backed by evidence, on what will work best," he said.

Planner Joel Cayford says greater subsidies are needed to get people out of cars and onto public transport.
Planner Joel Cayford says greater subsidies are needed to get people out of cars and onto public transport.

Planner Joel Cayford, who stumbled across the research, said Auckland has a history of underinvestment in public transport and needed to increase subsidies, saying cities that had done so experienced a massive shift from cars to public transport.

"If you increase subsidies for public transport and reduce the need to build new roads it doesn't necessarily end up a net increase in costs," said Cayford, a former regional councillor and chairman of the regional land transport committee.

AA spokesman Barney Irvine said the body hears from motorists that cost is a real turn-off when it comes to switching to public transport, and reducing fares will help.

But he said public transport is already heavily subsidised and increasing subsidies will make people think twice when they are already being asked to pay for fuel taxes like the regional fuel tax.

Cost is just one thing standing in the way of public transport update. The main reason is convenience, Irvine said.

The 12 most expensive cities in the world for commuting by public transport

1. London - NZ$247

2. Dublin - $187.11

3. Auckland - $174.74

4. New York - $167.35

5. Tokyo - $157.39

6. Amsterdam - $154.41

7. Sydney - $154.12

8. Zurich - $154.12

9. Melbourne - $150

10. Toronto - $146.02

11. Chicago - $145.17

12. Wellington - $143.89

Source: Deutsche Bank, using prices from Expatistan, a site that tracks cost-of-living expenses in more than 200 countries.