Making a long commute to work is simply part of life for many city and suburban dwellers. Once having to take an hour drive both to and from work myself, I am familiar with the psychological stages one goes through. At first its terrible, then bearable, and finally your mind simply shuts off for the entirety of the commute. Looking back, you realize the how easily you flushed two hours a day down toilet.
It's somewhat heartening to know that people around the world share in the pain. Here are the world's worst commutes according to IBM's Commuter Pain Index:
IBM surveyed 8,192 motorists in 20 cities across six continents and compiled an index 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.
In fact traffic in Beijing has been so bad that 69% of survey respondents say in the past three years traffic has been so bad they have given up, turned around, and gone home. Commuters in Russia reported being stuck in traffic, on average, for 2.5 hours and even as high as three-- though the Russians are less apt than their southern neighbors to concede defeat and go home.
Research done by Martin Prosperity Institute (MPI) via The Atlantic found that every minute shaved off America's commuting time is worth an estimated $19.5 billion dollars. That translates into $97.7 billion for five minutes, $195 billion for 10 minutes, and $292 billion for every 15 minutes saved nationally. A good deal of cash. Perhaps investing in public transit is not such a bad idea?