Your city bus costs more per mile than a first class overseas flight

Across the country, public transportation systems are telling weepy stories to politicians, begging for funding. In New York, crippling real estate holdings have led the MTA to warn riders of an impending 23% fare hike. Chicago, which just raised fares in January, is agitating for even more hikes.

If New York's fare goes up again, it will mean its subway fares will have doubled in the past 16 years, far outpacing the general rise in the cost of living. As America's working people are forced to shoulder the burden of bad investment and inefficiency, I began to wonder just how much those of us who eschew car travel are paying per mile compared to other ways of getting around.

So I figured it out, because I thought you'd want to know. Here's how various forms of transportation stack up. For equality's sake, I priced everything based on a departure closest to 9 a.m. on April 15, tax day. That's a Wednesday, when fares are typically fairly cheap, so I'm giving everyone a head start: