8 Of The Cheapest African Cities For Public Transportation

By Julia Austin AFKI Original Published: August 10, 2016, 11:56 am
getting around dakarCar rapide in Senegal. Photo: Voanews.com

Public transport is more affordable than having your own car in any city. Driving a car comes with the costs of maintenance, monthly payments or leasing fees, insurance and parking fees, while public transit comes with none of that. In these African countries, traveling by bus or metro can cost as little as a few cents USD. AFKInsider covered the most expensive African cities for public transportation. Here are eight of the cheapest.

Trotro in Ghana. Photo: Notoverly.wordpress.com

Trotro in Ghana. Photo: Notoverly.wordpress.com

Accra, Ghana

In Accra, you can ride a tro-tro for less than 5 cedis — around $1.27. Tro-tro is a catch-all name for privately owned vehicles in the city that you can hail just as you would a taxi. Tro-tros range from minivans to pick-up trucks and can be found along any major street. For longer trips that take you out of the city, splurge on an air-conditioned bus. These can range from under $5 to $17 depending on how far you’re traveling.

Source: Virtualtourist.com, Goafrica.about.com, Justlanded.com

Matatus in Nairobi. Photo: Medium.com

Matatus in Nairobi. Photo: Medium.com

Nairobi, Kenya

In Nairobi, you can ride the crosstown bus for around $1.09 per hour. However, the most popular mode of transportation is the matatu, a type of privately-owned mini-bus typically decked out in murals and local slogans. A matatu ride can cost as little as 33 cents. The country’s Transport and Safety Authority has complained about the vulgarity of the decoration on some matatus.

Source: Bbc.com, Gobackpacking.com

Tourist bus in Marrakech. Photo: Medias24.com

Tourist bus in Marrakech. Photo: Medias24.com

Marrakech, Morocco

The Marrakech Bus Touristique takes visitors around Marrakech, dropping them off near major landmarks. Visitors and locals can purchase 48-hour passes for $5. The horse-drawn carriages called caleches are unique to the city. They can fit up to six people and cost around $6 so each rider might pay as little as $1.

Source: Travel.usnews.com

Cairo metro. Photo: Egyptianstreets.com

Cairo metro. Photo: Egyptianstreets.com

Cairo, Egypt

The fastest affordable way to get around Cairo is by the metro system. It consists of two lines that meet in the center of the city and travel all around Cairo to major attractions. A one-way ticket costs around 17 cents. The cheapest mode of transportation is the bus, which can cost as little a 4 cents. The buses, however, aren’t well-marked and are often overcrowded.

Source: Travel.usnews.com

Bus in Cape Town. Photo: Showbus.com

Bus in Cape Town. Photo: Showbus.com

Cape Town, South Africa

The Cape Town Metro system allows riders to earn points and pre-load their metro cards. The larger ride packages they buy, the more points they earn which can pay for more rides. You can travel nearly 40 miles for around $2 on the Metro during peak hours, and around $1.70 for the same distance during slow times.

Source: Myciti.org.za

Gaborone buss. Photo: Maishayetu.wordpress.com

Gaborone buss. Photo: Maishayetu.wordpress.com

Gaborone, Botswana

You can purchase a two-way ticket in Gaborone for around 37 cents, and a monthly pass for a little over $7. Travelers can take the train to nearby towns for between $5 and $14, depending on which class they ride in — standard, business or first.

Source: Numbeo.com, Brexpress.botrail.bw

Metro in Tunis. Photo: Tunisie.co

Metro in Tunis. Photo: Tunisie.co

Tunis, Tunisia

Taking the train from Tunis to other towns can cost as little as $3.50 if you ride coach class and around $5 if you prefer to ride in first class. A monthly public transit pass costs around $18. A taxi ride in the city will cost you around $4.50.

Source: Expatistan.com, Seat61.com, Virtualtourist.com

Car Rapides in Senegal. Photo: Voanews.com

Car rapides in Senegal. Photo: Voanews.com

Dakar, Senegal

Car rapides — meaning “fast cars” —  are the most popular mode of transportation in Dakar, Senegal. These colorful buses and mini buses are part of the country’s history. Some have operated for over 40 years, and even have an exhibit dedicated to them. A ride on car rapide costs around 16 cents. Some newer buses called tatas or kinglongs cost around 90 cents per ride. There’s an effort by the government to phase out car rapides by 2018 as the capital of Senegal upgrades its urban transportation network.

Source: Reuters.com, CNN

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