Sep 242011

An IBM survey of 8,042 commuters in 20 cities on six continents shows that more people are now taking public transport rather than driving. In general, people report that traffic has improved over the past three years.

The survey, entitled Global Commuter Pain, found that commuting in Mexico City was the “most painful” of the 20 cities studied; commuting in Montreal, Canada, was the “least painful”. The survey suggests that infrastructure investments in congested cities are repaid with improved travel times. Mexico City’s investments in public transport over the next few years should help move it away from the bottom place in the rankings.

Mexico City traffic

"Welcome to Mexico City"

Two-thirds of drivers in Mexico City said they had decided not to make a driving trip at least once in the last month due to anticipated traffic conditions. Asked about the longest amount of time they had been stuck in traffic over the past three years, the mean time reported by Mexico City drivers was over two hours. (Drivers in Moscow fared even worse, with 30% reporting delays over three hours).

The index is comprised of 10 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.

The cities scored as follows: 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; and Montreal 21.

  • The IBM report on the 2011 Commuter Pain Survey (pdf file).

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