The world's most expensive public transportation?

Photo by D'Arcy Vallance

I’ve long recognized that Venice has had a long time to perfect the art of separating tourists from their money. They’ve had little else to do economically since they lost even the last vestiges of power in the 18th century, after all. But I truly had my breath taken away on this trip by the cost of a vaporetto ride. A single ticket, good for 60 minutes on the vaporetto network, is €6.50, or $10.20 at current exchange rates. I truly think that’s insane. If you want a 24-hour ticket, the deal is slightly better: €16 or $25.

I know that if your a Venetian resident, you can get a cheaper pass, but still. Incidentally, I remember zipping around Venice with a local architect in 1982 or thereabouts. We boldly hopped onto vaporetti without ever bothering about tickets. “Tickets are for tourists,” he told me. That’s no longer true: the clever electronic tickets they now have are easily checked and I witnessed one sweep through the #2 vaporetto by the conductor which resulted in one disgruntled local getting pulled aside.

Vaporetto photo by D’Arcy Vallance from Flickr

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