Mar 25, 2010

Is the Geneva-Lausanne train ride really expensive?

The 45 minute train ride from Geneva to Lausanne costs 20.5 CHF, enough to discourage us from going there for seminars. But is this really expensive? To answer that question, I compare it to the New Haven - New York line in the US. The latter costs 15 CHF but takes 1:50. A lot cheaper at first glance; you go further for less. Indeed, it costs you 0.12 CHF per km, rather than 0.34 CHF!

But what about the opportunity cost of time? Taking this into account, the US train remains the better deal, but not by much, costing 0.22 CHF per km per hour instead of 0.26 CHF in Switzerland. One could argue comfort should also enter the equation, making the Swiss train a better deal after all. But then we could also include the Dunkin' Donuts at New Haven Grand Central. But that would be unfair competition.




km

hours

CHF

CHF per km

km/h

CHF per  km/h

New Haven - New York

122

1.8

15

0.12

67.78

0.22

Geneva - Lausanne

60

0.77

20.5

0.34

77.92

0.26

4 comments:

Hannah said...

hahaha i am in favour of including the dunkin donut indicator aka service level.

love the blog!

Hannah

TomasH said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
TomasH said...

Overall price level matters! Worker at McDonald's in GVE makes as much as a Manhattan Investment banker (or nearly as much :-) does!

Pierre-Louis said...

OK so at PPP exchange rates the Swiss may be the better deal...