IBM Global Commuter Pain Survey: Congestion down, complaints up

The fourth annual “Global Commuter Pain” survey report released by IBM has revealed that although global traffic congestion is lower in 2011, driver complaints have increased in the same time period.

Mexico City was rated the “most painful” city for commuters while Montreal, London and Chicago came out rated the “best.” However, as every city surveyed suffers from significant levels of “commuter pain,” the results are relative. Bangalore, Beijing and Shenzen noted improvements in traffic conditions over the last three years; all three cities have made significant investments in their transportation infrastructure.

Forty-one percent of all commuters globally said improved public transportation would help reduce commuter stress. The desire for more accurate and timely information about road conditions was a shared theme across several world cities.

The report concludes by advocating a more efficient use of existing transportation infrastructure – primarily through the use of technology. “We can’t simply build our way out of congestion no matter which city,” said Vinodh Swaminathan, director of intelligent transportation systems, IBM. In order to improve traffic flow and congestion, cities need to move beyond knowing and reacting; they have to find ways to anticipate and avoid situations that cause congestion that could turn the world into one giant parking lot.”

The full report can be found downloaded. [pdf]