Beijing top of world's grimmest commutes

IF YOU think your drive to work is bad then spare a thought for commuters in the cities of Beijing, Mexico City and Johannesburg, which have come top in a global poll of the worst driving commutes in the world.

An IBM Commuter Pain Study of 8,192 motorists in 20 cities, released yesterday, found most commuters — 67 per cent - said traffic had got worse in the past three years and it was making them sick and affecting how they do their job.

The survey found 65 per cent of people driving to work every day said the journey made them stressed and angry and reduced their sleep and family time, while 29 per cent said traffic was adversely impacting their performance at work or school.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Some cities came out worse than others, with 22 per cent of commuters in Mexico City taking more than an hour a day for a typical one-way trip to work compared with only 2 per cent of commuters in New York or Madrid taking that long.

"Cities like Beijing and Mexico City have very long commutes and the uncertainty of the commute is high, as one day it can take 45 minutes and the next day two hours," IBM's head of intelligent transportation, Naveen Lamba, said.

Rounding out the top ten of the worst cities for commuters were Moscow, New Delhi, Sao Paulo, Milan, Buenos Aires, Madrid and London, with scores determined by up to ten factors, including commuting time, time stuck in traffic and stress levels.

"Developing cities are growing so fast that you are seeing congestion building up very quickly, as opposed to large cities in developed countries where congestion has taken decades to

build up, giving officials more time to address the problem," Ms Lamba added.

For example the number of new cars registered in Beijing in the first four months of 2010 rose 23.8 per cent to 248,000, according to the Beijing municipal taxation office.

Related topics: