It’s Monday morning and your commute is probably still fresh in your mind.

If you happen to be located in Toronto and Montreal, that commute could have been quite painful, but don’t try complaining about it to a Parisian or Muscovite and don’t even THINK of mentioning it to a Mexiqueño.

A study released this month conducted by IBM surveyed 8,042 commuters in 20 cities on six continents. The resulting report is known as the Commuter Pain Index, the fourth survey on this topic IBM has conducted in as many years.

The survey measured commuter pain based on ten issues including commuting time, time stuck in traffic, price of gas, and traffic as a deterrent to travel.

While Toronto and Montreal have the worst commutes in Canada, the survey found that commuter pain in these two cities is relatively light compared to other urban areas around the globe.

Of the 20 cities surveyed, Montreal had the lowest rank with commuter pain at a totally tolerable 21. Toronto came in at number 15 with a satisfactory score of 27.


Sitting on top of the list with a commuter pain score of 108 was Mexico City. With its metro population pegged at a staggering 21.2 million, it isn’t exactly a surprise that Mexico’s capital has an excruciating commute. This is, after all, a city where traffic was so dense on one highway that an elevated highway running parallel was constructed on top of it.

Other exceedingly painful cities were Shenzhen at 95, Beijing at 95, Nairobi at 88 and Johannesburg at 83. Ouch!

The survey also found that 41 per cent of commuters said improved public transportation would help reduce stress. Commuters in Beijing and Shenzhen reported that traffic conditions had improved over the last three years and this was attributed to large investments in infrastructure.

Well, maybe this survey will put your commute into perspective. Was it really all that bad today? On the Commuter Pain Index would you place it around 108 or was it closer to a 27.

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