Posting in Cities
This IBM study surveyed commuters in 20 cities around the world and ranked the worst -- and best -- cities for commuting.
You think your city's traffic is so bad? Try living in Mexico City.
The city scored the highest in IBM's Global Commuter Pain Survey, released today. The study surveyed a cross-section of economically important cities around the world regarding commuting habits, ranking the emotional and economic toll of commuting in each of the cities. It found that drivers throughout the world reported more stress and frustration with their commute compared to last year.
The study surveyed 8,042 commuters in 20 cities on six continents, and found that in many places, commuters are opting for public transportation instead of driving. Forty-one percent of those surveyed said that as public transportation options improved, stress levels would decrease.
Indeed, many emerging economies, such as india and China, are making significant investments in public transportation. Commuters in Bangalore, New Delhi, Beijing, Shenzen, and Mexico City reported more improvement in traffic conditions than did commuters in other cities surveyed.
Having said that, the survey also found more respondents, compared to last year, who said that traffic congestion has "increased their levels of personal stress and anger and negatively affected their performance at work or school," according to a statement from IBM. Respondents in Beijing (86%), Shenzen (87%), New Delhi (70%) and Nairobi (61%) said that traffic is a major inhibitor to their performance at work or school.
Forty-two percent of respondents of the survey's respondents said their stress levels had increased, and 35% reported increased anger. Respondents in China and India also reported congestion-related respiratory problems.
“Commuting doesn’t occur in a vacuum,” said Naveen Lamba, IBM’s global intelligent transportation expert. “A person’s emotional response to the daily commute is colored by many factors – pertaining both to traffic congestion as well as to other, unrelated, issues. This year’s Global Commuter Pain survey indicates that drivers in cities around the world are much more unsettled and anxious compared with 2010.”
The index measures ten issues: 1) commuting time, 2) time stuck in traffic, agreement that: 3) price of gas is already too high, 4) traffic has gotten worse, 5) start-stop traffic is a problem, 6) driving causes stress, 7) driving causes anger, 8 ) traffic affects work, 9) traffic so bad driving stopped, and 10) decided not to make trip due to traffic.
Here's how the cities in this year's Commuter Pain Survey stacked up (higher scores indicate worse conditions):
- Mexico City: 108
- Shenzhen 95
- Beijing 95
- Nairobi 88
- Johannesburg 83
- Bangalore 75
- New Delhi 72
- Moscow 65
- Milan 53
- Singapore 44
- Buenos Aires 42
- Los Angeles 34
- Paris 31
- Madrid 28
- New York City 28
- Toronto 27
- Stockholm 26
- Chicago 25
- London 23
- Montreal 21
Photos: IBM, Flickr/itdp
via [The Wall Street Journal]
Sep 7, 2011
I dunno though, if I think Jakarta is way BETTER than Mexico city. You'll see on traffic jams the only thing that moved is Motorcycle. In fact, you can only get anywhere using a motorcycle.
In a LOT of the US cities (surveyed and not surveyed), a base political decision of the elected officials from the Federal level to the city (via grants / transportaiton money and outright mandates)to ensure that all roads are puprosefully clogged in order to push public transporation solutions onto people. So the Federal dollars are only given to cities funding rail / buses / trolleys / bike paths and not to fix / widen existing roads. Course they are building solutions based on 19th century styled and built cities that just do not exist anymore where people work within a few miles of factories / offices. To build a Paris style subway around Atlanta where it actually becomes FASTER to use it than drive, would take around 10 years and $500 billion dollars to build. (And i am guessing way low, real life since multiple governments are involved, more like 1.5 Trillion). You would need to do that 20 TIMES in the USA - so 30 TRILLION dollars to build a Paris style subway system that actually works and serves EVERYONE within the city.
I am not sure if you have tested Dubai. My experience of a few year ago was absolutely horrendous. What would take 120 minutes to negotiate on a Friday would take over 2:30 on any working day. The worst part was the fact that the government, which had a stake in petroleum product sales, had absolutely any interest in fixing the problem! I don't believe situation has changed much.
The index measures ten issues: 1) commuting time, 2) time stuck in traffic, agreement that: 3) price of gas is already too high, 4) traffic has gotten worse, 5) start-stop traffic is a problem, 6) driving causes stress, 7) driving causes anger, 8 ) traffic affects work, 9) traffic so bad driving stopped, and 10) decided not to make trip due to traffic. --- All of which we experience when driving around here!
Phoenix isn't great to get around in either so my solution was to give up higher income, great places to eat and all the wonders only city life can offer. Instead I moved out where my town has a whopping 156 people. I don't drive into the main town every day and might only once or twice a week. In exchange I now have contentment and peace I've never known before. Cities are a great place to visit, but I'll never live that way again. Darn right it causes stress. I also enjoy the cheaper insurnace rates on my vans too!
We have all seen BBC video clip on YOU TUBE of ECOMOBILE. Can we modify it's wheels to make it a mono rail compatible and battery operated to make it environ friendly? Overhead mono rails can have all of us in all weather "monorailecomobiles' going much faster uninterrupted and on multi tier rail lines using vertical space too. At least human transport will be overhead and material movement on road. Any one to take?
Last time I was in Mexico City I had a nose bleed from all the pollution. I don't see how people can stand it, but I guess they do.
Commuting surveys come out all the time and are suspect. Recently a survey came out saying Toronto had the longest commute time (including transit) in North America. This survey is only about driving and focuses mostly driver opinion which is pointless. Ask any urban planning consultant and they will tell you that locals find traffic bad regardless of how big their town/city is. It's the nature of the beast. Meanwhile, these surveys have to be clear on where they draw the lines on municipal jurisdictions. In this survey, where does LA start and end? Finally, I thought Toronto and Montreal had lower 'pain' marks because more people have been biking and walking which are happier modes... but alas, these were not included.
The study was on 20 cites and all the rankings are listed. Other places could very well be worse but were not studied so don't get mad that your home town didn't make it. I do find it interesting that the Canadian and U.S. cities are all on the bottom half of the list. The Toronto and Montreal commutes are easily the worst in Canada for example. Maybe people don't have as much to complain about as they think or maybe the Mexico City commute makes you seriously contemplate suicide every morning.
and how could houston not make the list with new york and chicago. at least those 2 have a mass transit system that does not rely entirely on buses.
I'd be interested in seeing where Boston placed in this survey... It's not too peachy up here, especially now that it's back-to-college season. Lots of inexperienced drivers unfamiliar with the roads = lots of accidents this week alone! I've driven by several on my 15-mile commute through Boston in the past 3 days, including some poor schmuck who lost his entire front bumper in the middle of I-93 in the South End of Boston!
Obviously there was no attempt to try a commute anywhere through the I5 corridor that required going through Seattle, Washington!
adding 30 minutes to a commute isn't bad. I can add 30 minutes to my commute just by getting out the door 10 minutes later than i should. I am in central florida and we have every driving habit in north america and from europe on our roads and nobody seems to know what they're doing. Add construction everywhere all the time and you can have hours of delays. It has gotten better because the road improvements have actually gotten ahead of the boom.. thanks to the housing bust and recession.
Taiwan and Japan have very good public transportation system, supposed to better than NY, LA (and London?)
Yes, traffic between Johannesburg and Pretoria is one of the worst in the planet! Inside Pretoria is also not good enough.
Driven by? LUXURY, here in los angeles we're lucky if "drive" is a VERB during rush hour! The most common verb is "PARK" and another one that ends with K is popular to say. I'm astounded that L.A. ranked first in the 'states but not first overall, then again, i've seen videos from New Delhi and beijing so...