Is Venice really the world’s priciest commuter city?

A report compiled by B2B supplier Expert Market has labelled Venice the "worst offender" when it comes to extortionate public transport costs.

Is Venice really the world’s priciest commuter city?
One of the city's water buses. Photo: Luis Villa del Campo

The report compared the cost of commuting in over 50 cities worldwide, giving Venice the dubious honour of being named the world's most expensive city for commuting.

It calculated that Venetians spend a whopping 26 percent of their wages each months on commuting  – a much higher figure than in other cities: commuters in New York pay just four percent.

The study calculated the cost of commuting as a percentage of monthly salaries using 2015 income data from Numbeo and fares of a one-day public transport pass. 

There's no denying that tourist haven Venice takes advantage of its beauty spot status by charging premium prices for hotels or drinks in the city centre, something which risks pricing out the locals.

Karoline Steckley, an American expat living in Trieste, said the city was quickly becoming a commuter town for Venice.

“I know people who commute to Venice – it is a 1.5-hour train ride from Trieste. They tend to concentrate their work week into three days or so in Venice and the rest from home,” she said.

However, Steckley added that plenty of people still managed to live in Venice. “It can be done either way,” she added.

One blogger living in Venice told The Local: “Venetian public transportation is very expensive. A one way ticket on a public water boat (vaporetto) has gone up this year to €7.50 euro.”

“Venetians walk a lot!” She laughed but also pointed out that locals can make use of a €37 monthly pass, allowing unlimited use of the vaporetti and some local buses and trams.

When The Local contacted Hello Venice, the city’s public transport provider, they explained that the €20 daily fare used in Expert Market's calculations was “not for locals”, and that a different travel card, the Venezia Unica pass, is available for “frequent users” of the city's public transport and offers different monthly subscriptions, starting at €37.

An annual pass can be purchased for just €370, making the cost per day just over €1. Furthermore, elderly residents can benefit from a free or discounted annual travel card, depending on their income. 

With the Venezia Unica pass, a single journey is just €1.50, less than a quarter of the €7.50 it costs for those visiting the city. This would mean that commuters making a return journey each day using the pass would spend closer to a much more reasonable three percent of the average salary.

The Local was told that the tourist passes offer additional benefits such as discounted entry to museums – which can save you a fortune if you're visiting.

The Venezia Unica card can be used over a five-year period and costs €10 for Venice residents, €20 for those in the Veneto region, and €50 for non-locals.  If you're visiting the beautiful city, it could be a worthwhile investment.

Whatever you do, avoid one way tickets and day passes, or Venice really is an incredibly expensive commuter city.

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One dead and four missing after two ships collide in North Sea

One person has died and four are missing from the crew of a cargo ship that sank after colliding with another vessel in the North Sea, German authorities said on Tuesday.

One dead and four missing after two ships collide in North Sea

Two further crew members from the sunken ship were rescued after the collision with a second cargo vessel early on Tuesday southwest of the island of Helgoland, German Sea Rescue Society (DGzRS) spokesman Christian Stipeldey said.

Several ships are currently searching for survivors in the area, it added.

“One person was rescued from the water and is receiving medical care.

Several other people are currently missing,” the agency said.

The ship believed to have sunk was named as the Verity, sailing under a British flag and on its way from Bremen to the UK town of Immingham.

The other ship was the Polesie, under a Bahamas flag and travelling from Hamburg to La Coruna in Spain.

The Verity was the smaller vessel with a length of 91 metres (almost 300 feet), compared to the Polesie’s 190 metres.

The Polesie was still afloat with 22 people on board, the agency said.

The Bild daily reported that a total of six people were missing.

“The emergency services are doing everything they can to rescue the missing people,” German

Transport Minister Volker Wissing said in a statement.

“My thoughts are with the crew members, their relatives and the rescue teams who have been in action since early this morning.”

Cruise ship

Two rescue cruisers, an emergency tug, a pilot boat, a police patrol boat and a helicopter are helping with the search, according to the CCME.

A P&O cruise ship that was in the area, the IONA, has also been involved, the agency added.

“On board the IONA, people can also receive medical care; there are doctors on board,” it said.

Other medical staff were also transported to the site by helicopter.

The search was taking place in difficult weather conditions, with winds of six on the Beaufort scale and waves reaching as high as three metres, the agency said.

The Polesie is owned by the Polish shipping company Polsteam.

The accident comes weeks after a ship with hundreds of electric cars on board caught fire in the North Sea off the coast of the Netherlands.

The Fremantle Highway was sailing between Bremerhaven in Germany and Port Said in Egypt when the blaze broke out in July.

The accident happened close to Ameland, one of an archipelago of ecologically sensitive islands situated in the Waddensee area.

All 23 crew members were evacuated from the ship, but one person died and several were injured.

Efforts to tow the ship to shore were complicated by poor weather conditions but it was eventually brought to the northern port of Eemshaven.

READ ALSO: Germany’s North Sea coast ‘most affected by climate change’