Sydneysiders have the fourth-worst rail service in the world and pay more for train tickets than commuters in the rest of the globe's major cities, according to a report by PricewaterhouseCoopers.
The study judged transport systems by comparing the cost of "the longest mass transit rail trip" within each city.
The cost of bus trips were measured in cities that didn't have rail.
Sydney fared better than Los Angeles, Sao Paulo and Johannesburg but was ranked below Mumbai, Moscow, Istanbul, Beijing and Shanghai, the "Cities of Opportunity" study said.
Singapore was found to have the best rail system.
Toronto was the only non-Asian city in the top five, which included Seoul, Tokyo and Hong Kong.
Sydney had the most expensive rail fares, followed by Tokyo, Hong Kong, Beijing and Shanghai.
Twenty-seven of the world's largest and most influential cities were measured on economic factors, quality of life, technology and cost of doing business, in the study which was released over the weekend.
The study also found that Sydney was the world's second most expensive city, only beaten by Tokyo, and also took second place for demographics and liveability.
Overall Sydney was rated as the world's 11th most influential city, the only Australian city on the list, and the most sustainable.