Johannesburg commute one of the worst
Johannesburg - The daily commute in Johannesburg has been ranked one of the world's worst, with more than half of road users reporting increased stress levels this year, an IBM study reveals.
Commuters driving to work or school in the city spent at least 36 minutes in traffic, ranking on average as the longest global commute time together with Nairobi, Mexico City, Beijing, Bangalore and Moscow.
Johannesburgers remained upbeat though, as almost 30% believed traffic had improved "somewhat" or "substantially" in 2011, compared to 19% last year.
The commuter pain survey by IBM ranked the emotional and economic toll of commuting in each city into a pain index.
A total of 8 042 commuters were surveyed in 20 cities around the world.
The pain index took into account the stress and anger felt by commuters as well as the effect of traffic jams and stop-start traffic, amongst other things.
4th 'most painful'
Johannesburg came out as the fourth "most painful", with Mexico City commuters receiving pole position.
Those looking to reduce their daily commute and its emotional stress could move to Canada's second largest city, Montreal, as it scored the lowest on the pain index in 2011.
"Commuting doesn't occur in a vacuum...the daily commute is coloured by many factors," said Gavin Pieterse, IBM governmental programmes executive for Sub-Saharan Africa.
He said findings from Johannesburg drivers showed there was significant room for improvement in making transport systems smarter.
"We can't simply build our way out of congestion no matter which city," said Vinodh Swaminathan, IBM director of intelligent transportation systems.
He said if cities wanted to improve their traffic flow and congestion, they would need to move beyond knowing and reacting. Instead, they should find ways to anticipate and avoid situations.
And what if cities managed to do this, thereby freeing up peoples' time?
About half of commuters surveyed would spend time with loved ones or tackle their exercise routine, making for one affectionate and physically fit city.