IBM Global Commuter Pain Index measures world traffic congestion
If there are three claims that people in almost every part of the world make about where they live, those claims are: our weather is notoriously unpredictable, we are being taxed into the Stone Age, and... the traffic here is worse than almost anywhere else. Well, as part of its research and development of traffic management systems, IBM decided to find out just which places do have the worst traffic - or at least, which places have the residents who are most negatively affected by it. The results: if you don’t like traffic, don’t live in a fast-growing metropolis.
For its first-ever Global Commuter Pain Index, the company surveyed 8,192 drivers in 20 cities on six continents, getting feedback on issues such as commuting time, anger caused by driving in traffic, and the amount of time stuck in traffic.
Cities such as Los Angeles, New York and London, long thought of as traffic hellholes, actually scored relatively low on the index. This, say the researchers, is because those cities have been experiencing slow, steady growth over the past several years, so the traffic infrastructure has been able to keep up with the increased amount of vehicles on the road.
Places like Moscow, New Delhi, and the top spot holder Beijing, however, have been growing too fast. According to the Beijing municipal taxation office, the number of new cars in that city rose by 23.8 percent in the first four months of 2010. It’s no surprise that 95 percent of Beijing motorists surveyed felt that roadway traffic had negatively affected their health - the global average was 57 percent. Beijing does plan on investing over 331.2 billion yuan (US$48.8 billion) by 2015 to improve its traffic infrastructure, but that doesn’t free the roads up right now.
"Traditional solutions - building more roads - will not be enough to overcome the growth of traffic in these rapidly developing cities, so multiple solutions need to be deployed simultaneously to avoid a failure of the transportation networks," said Naveen Lamba, IBM's global industry lead for intelligent transportation. "New techniques are required that empower transportation officials to better understand and proactively manage the flow of traffic."
Other findings of the survey included the facts that 49 percent of global drivers thought traffic has gotten worse in the past three years, 87 percent have been stuck in traffic causing an average one-hour delay, and 31 percent have encountered traffic so heavy that they turned around and went home.
The city with the least painful commute, should you be curious, was Stockholm. Melbourne and Houston closely followed, in a tie for second-least.
IBM has previously conducted Commuter Pain surveys in 2008 and 2009, but only within the US.
Please keep comments to less than 150 words. No abusive material or spam will be published.
Washington, D.C.. Area newspapers show an adverage of 90 min. to get to work with
only a 35 mile trip...
Also, you cannot make a blanket determination about traffic in one city being the same throughout the city! I\'m sure that there are some areas in Bejing that are just fine traffic wise...and that after 10pm, traffic is probably non-existant! In the DC area, traffic is continuous whether you\'re driving at 8am, 3pm or 3 AM, you will ALWAYS hit traffic!
In 2001, 3.5 mil vehicles registered. In 2008, 9.6 mil vehicles. In 2009, 10 mil. 70% of them are motorbikes, because people (including me) thought it is faster and cheaper on fuel = less pain. Imagine: 7 million of motorbikes, heaven for Honda and Yamaha.
Public trans: No subway. Bus lane is new but ineffective. Monorail is aborted project. Taxi has the most share in public trans. Buses are old, dirty, not worthed even if it\'s the cheapest.
Bangkok should be in the top five list. On an average workday commuting from areas north of Bangkok to downtown Bangkok, it takes 2 hours to travel the distance of 20 kilometer, or about 6.25 miles per hour and this includes partial travel on \"express\" toll-way too along with large force of traffic police on duty. On the month-end payday that falls on Friday, you can double the time easily especially when the traffice policemen get physically and mentally tired and just take a break and do nothing ! The only thing that makes traffic jam in Bangkok bearable is that most Thais do not honks needlessly like drivers in cities like Beijing, or Manila.
Just as a small benchmark, I used to live inside Lisbon and leave home at 8:45 to enter my job at 9:00. Now, living outside Lisbon, I wake-up at 6:30 to leave home at 6:45 and be in Lisbon at 7:00... then I fully use my 2h laptop battery working on a coffee table and entering my job around 9:00.
Why is this madness? Public transportation in Portugal is both expensive and inefficient. Cost of ownership of a house inside Lisbon is 4 to 10 times more expensive then in the suburbs of Lisbon.... and renting a house in Lisbon will cost as much as a bank bill for owning a house in the suburbs. This, although BAD, wouldn\'t be a problem if the suburbs HAD not converted into dormitory areas... but there aren\'t many company outside Lisbon... to it\'s the same every day.
During summer, Lisbon get\'s so desert that almost seems like a ghost town.
The Deal to end traffic is improve the use of communications to make people work from home, and create jobs OUTSIDE the big metropolis, evening things out ... as a result demand to buy property inside metropolis will decline and the price-drop will allow more people to live inside the metropolis instead of just working there. This would spread the usable area and fuse working places with living places in a uniform mass. Less people would need their cars and traffic should decline.