Commuters of Earth, We Feel Your Pain

We are not alone. In fact, we're not even near the worst when it comes to "commuter pain"

By Jonathan Lloyd
|  Thursday, Jul 1, 2010  |  Updated 12:19 PM PDT
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If you're looking for something relatively positive to say about LA traffic, think globally.

A new traffic study ranks international cities using something called a "Commuter Pain Index." At 13th, LA falls between Berlin and Amsterdam on the list of 20 cities.

It's tough all over, but at any given rush hour things are probably worse in Beijing and Mexico City. Those cities have the world's most-pained motorists, according to the survey.

Johannesburg is third, Moscow comes in fourth, and New Delhi rounds out the top five. New York (16th) and Houston (17th) were the only other U.S. cities on the list.

IBM's first Commuter Pain Survey, a two-year study that's part of larger effort to provide traffic solutions, looked at how more than 8,100 motorists get to and from work. It took things like traffic's emotional and health tolls (57 percent said traffic negatively impacted their health) into account.

There are actually 10 components of IBM's Commuter Pain Index, including commuting time and time stuck in traffic. The index also looks at whether motorist agreed with the following: traffic has gotten worse, start-stop traffic is a problem, driving causes stress, driving causes anger, traffic affects work, traffic is so bad driving stopped, and I've decided not to make a trip due to traffic.

IBM also made a colorful gumball graphic to accompany the study. According to the gumballs, 13 percent of LA motorists surveyed said they would work more if their commute time could be significantly reduced.

Apparently, the people of Madrid were the only respondents who really thought about that question. Only 5 percent said they'd work more if their commute time was reduced.

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