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Mexico City, Beijing top list for worst 'commuter pain'

July 2, 2010 |  6:06 pm

Mexico city traffic

Mexico City and Beijing top a list released this week for the world's worst "commuter pain," citing length of commutes and effects such as stress and the effect of traffic on work. The IBM study interviewed more than 8,000 commuters in 20 cities, and gave the Chinese and Mexican capitals a mark of 99 on a scale of 100, followed by Johannesburg, South Africa, Moscow, and New Delhi.

Sao Paolo and Buenos Aires were the other Latin American cities ranking high in the IBM list. Not surprisingly perhaps, Los Angeles also makes the list.

In Mexico City, 22% of commuters said they spend at least an hour in the daily journey to work.

"This is no ordinary traffic," says this post at The Financial Times, waxing on gridlock in the D.F., or Distrito Federal, as Mexico City is known. "We are talking knots of steel and rubber so tight that they can turn a 30-minute journey into an ordeal lasting the length of a feature film. Whatever the delays, they are frequent and the daily jams make the city a bad place to do business."

But the study also noted that Beijing and Mexico City continue to invest heavily in public transit. Mexico City is expanding its Metrobus system to three lines, and adding a 12th line to the subway. The D.F. has also focused on encouraging bicycles as an alternative method of commuting in a place "where the car is king."

-- Daniel Hernandez in Mexico City

Photo: A typical traffic scene in Mexico City. Credit: Skyscrapercity.com

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