Interesting Facts about Commuting

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Commuting has become an essential activity in our everyday lives. However, this common activity is full of interesting facts once you dig into the details. Many of these facts seem interesting yet strange and once you read the following interesting facts about commuting, you’ll agree too. 

1. Thailand and Indonesia are the Largest Marketplaces for Motorbikes

Indonesia is the Largest Marketplace for Motorbikes

Thailand and Indonesia are the countries that have world’s highest motorbike use. Thailand is popular as the country of 100 million scooters, which translated into 87 percent households owning at least one motorbike. The situation is similar in Indonesia with 85 percent of households owning one and about 80 million bikes on the road. Vietnam has a higher percentage than Indonesia (86%), but the total number of estimated motorbikes stands at 45 million. [13]

2. ASEAN Countries Lead the Charts

Thailand has the Highest Motorbike Use with Regards to Population

The main reason behind use of motorbikes in such huge numbers in the ASEAN countries including Thailand, Indonesia and Vietnam is mainly people’s inability to afford a car. But there are some other reasons too because of which people living in these countries choose a motorbike over a car.

Not only two-wheelers have a less negative environmental impact, they can also reach places where four-wheelers cannot reach. Some cities have serious parking issues. You can park a motorbike almost anywhere including a sidewalk and bikers are exempt from paying a toll in most countries.

3. Amsterdam is Widely Known as the Cycling Capital of the World

Amsterdam is Widely Known as the Cycling Capital of the World

One of the most loved things in Dutch culture is cycling. People voluntarily love to travel via cycles on their daily commute because of well-structured cycling paths extended over hundreds of kilometers bringing a great cycling experience. Amsterdam is also one of the safest places for cyclists in the world. The government constantly improves the cycling paths to retain the image of the “Cycling Capital of the World”. [1]

4. Traffic Jams Cause Financial Losses

Traffic Jams Cause Financial Losses

Commuters can spend hours waiting for a traffic jam to clear and it can cause them losses in terms of money too. How much time you spend being stuck in traffic mainly depends on where you live. Los Angeles is considered to be the worst in this regard with an average commuter spending almost 119 hours every year in traffic congestions. This number is roughly equal to a full work week. LA is followed by San Francisco (103 hrs), Washington D.C. (102 hrs) and New York City (92 hrs). [2]

5. Less Commuting Leads to More Satisfaction

Less Commuting Leads to More Satisfaction

According to a Swiss study based on 19 years of data from Germany, people with longer commute times have systematically lower well-being compared to those that have a short commute time. Commuters who spend 20 minutes or less on their commute are happier with their commute than those who spend more than 45 minutes getting to work. Another study found that the absence of commute via working from home results in better job satisfaction [10].

6. There’s a Sky Wire in Bolivia to Make Commute Easy

There’s a Sky Wire in Bolivia to Make Commute Easy

Another innovative way to aid traveling between two points is the sky wire in Bolivia. It lets people living in mountainous areas travel at a faster rate to lower, more populated parts of the country. The wire carries commuters above congested roads and streets, which is a great way for over 200,000 people to avoid traffic congestion and something to envy about for people stuck in traffic jams below. [14]

7. Time Spent Commuting to Work

Time Spent Commuting to Work

The average American spends a total of 250 hours each year commuting to work. That’s a lot of time — and adds up to more than 10 days. That’s just the average number. Many American travel a lot more than that, especially those living in the suburbs. [4]

8. Public Transport is a Lifeline for Millions in the US

Public Transport is America’s Choice

In 2019, Americans took 9.9 billion trips on public transportation (buses, light rail, subways, etc.), which means they drove around 6 billion fewer trips than they would have if they’d been driving solo. Those trips save 4.2 billion gallons of gas and 37 million metric tons of greenhouse gasses—the equivalent of taking 7.7 million cars off the road for an entire year. [5]

9. The Country with the Longest Commute Time

The Country with the Longest Commute Time

Nigeria is a country in Africa where the average commute time is 62 minutes for a one-way journey. This is mainly because of traffic congestion and broken roads. The situation is worst in the capital of the country, Lagos. Over here, 10,000 passengers are traveling in each direction of the road during the rush hour. Nigeria also ranks 9th in the list of countries that have the highest rate of CO2 emissions per journey. [11]  

10. The Country with the Shortest Commute Time

The Country with the Shortest Commute Time

Cyprus is the country with the shortest commute time. With an average commuting time of 19 minutes,(people who commute for work). Cyprus has the shortest commuting time in the EU, partly because the country is small itself and population is concentrated in certain areas. Greece comes second with an average commute time of 20 minutes while Italy and Portugal are also close with 21 minutes each. [6]

11. The City with the Worst Traffic

The City with the Worst Traffic

The most congested city in the world used to be Bogota, Colombia, where residents spend an average of 191 hours per year stuck in traffic (as of 2019). But the Moscow region has taken over the crown and is now ranked even higher than Bogota followed by Mumbai, India. [7] [15]

12. Reading Books While Commuting Reduces Stress Levels

Reading Books While Commuting Reduces Stress Levels

Research suggests that people who have a habit of reading books experience stress levels almost 68% lower than those of non-readers. Study conducted by researchers at The University of Sussex concluded that reading even for a few minutes can be more effective in reducing stress than other activities such as playing video games, walking or having a cup of tea. The same rule applies to reading while commuting (whenever possible) to keep the stress level low due to traffic congestion and traveling in general. [8]

13. Commuters That Walk or Ride a Bike are More Satisfied with their Commute

Commuters That Walk or Ride a Bike are More Satisfied with their Commute

More than 9 out of 10 commuters that mainly walk or ride a bike tend to be more satisfied with their commute. Although biking is gaining popularity in major US cities, as it costs less and saves time than using a car, there are still some concerns about biking, such as safety issues and covering long distances.

14. The Most Active Months for Drivers

The Most Active Months for Drivers

October to December is considered to be the most active months for drivers, particularly ride-sharing platform drivers. That’s the time when businesses are getting ready for the holiday season and a lot of people need transportation. There is the Black Friday and Thanksgiving in November, while December is usually the month in which everyone is trying to have a good time, going shopping and other events taking places, including Christmas Day, Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve in the end (technically in January, but still counts). [16]

15. Longest Commutes to Work within City

Longest Commute to Work within City

Palmdale, California commuters (for work) have to spend 85.4 minutes on a round-trip commute to their workplace. New York and Jersey City, New Jersey come next with an 81.6 and 73.6-minute round-trip time respectively. This is an average, and commuters living in the suburbs have to spend even more time traveling to their work place. [17]

16. The Average Commuting Time Has Increased!

The Average Commuting Time Has Increased!

Is your commute getting worse? In a word, yes. The US Census Bureau is reporting that from 2006 to 2019, the average commute time increased by 10 percent for workers who drive to work. The average commute time was 25 minutes in 2006 and increased to a new high of 27.6 minutes in 2019. That’s an increase of 2.6 minutes. [9]

17. Car Driving to Work Can Be Harmful to Health

Car Driving to Work Can Be Harmful to Health

Driving by yourself is by far the least efficient way to get to work. Yet many Americans love their cars too much to give them up. Many cities are not built in a way that allows for easy mass transit commuting. New studies have found that driving yourself to work can bring negative impacts on your mental health and memory function.

Not only it’s bad for your brain, it also bad for your heart and overall wellbeing of an individual. Researchers at the University of Leicester (UK) concluded that the more you drive, the dumber you become. [12]

Conclusion

Commuting is a part of many people’s lives, whether they like it or not. The statistics in this article will give you an interesting insight into their commutes. As more people work longer hours, going further distances is becoming an increasingly important topic to discuss. For example, Flexible work hours and work-from-home policies can greatly reduce the amount of stress caused by traffic congestion and long commutes, and make this planet a better place to live.

References

  1. Amsterdam: Cycling capital of the world. (2021, March 11). redirect. https://www.holland.com/global/tourism/destinations/amsterdam/things-to-do/cycling-in-amsterdam.htm
  2. Liu, J. (n.d.). Commuters in this city spend 119 hours a year stuck in traffic. CNBC. https://www.cnbc.com/2019/09/04/commuters-in-this-city-spend-119-hours-a-year-stuck-in-traffic.html
  3. Shorter commutes make happier workers. (2022, June 23). Payscale – Salary Comparison, Salary Survey, Search Wages. https://www.payscale.com/career-advice/shorter-commutes-make-happier-workers/
  4. https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/interactive/2021/commute-calculator-pandemic/
  1. Public transportation facts. (2021, July 7). American Public Transportation Association. https://www.apta.com/news-publications/public-transportation-facts
  2. Majority commuted less than 30 minutes in 2019. (2020, October 21). European Commission | Choose your language | Choisir une langue | Wählen Sie eine Sprache. https://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/web/products-eurostat-news/-/ddn-20201021-2
  3. Bogota ranked as 2019’s most congested city. (n.d.). Smart Cities World. https://www.smartcitiesworld.net/news/news/bogota-ranked-as-2019s-most-congested-city-5096
  4. Why it pays to read. (n.d.). National Endowment for the Arts National Endowment for the Arts. https://www.arts.gov/stories/blog/2015/why-it-pays-read
  5. US Census Bureau. (2021, March 18). Census Bureau estimates show average one-way travel time to work rises to all-time high. Census.gov. https://www.census.gov/newsroom/press-releases/2021/one-way-travel-time-to-work-rises.html
  6. How commuting affects subjective wellbeing. (2019, March 11). SpringerLink. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11116-019-09983-9
  7. Countries with the most polluting commutes. (n.d.). Bad Credit Car, Van & Motorbike Finance Loans – Moneybarn. https://www.moneybarn.com/co2-commutes/
  8. com. (n.d.). inc.com. https://www.inc.com/jessica-stillman/your-terrible-commute-is-making-you-dumber-new-stu.html
  9. Misachi, J. (2019, August 14). Countries with the highest motorbike usage. WorldAtlas. https://www.worldatlas.com/articles/countries-that-ride-motorbikes.html
  10. Fang, J. (n.d.). World’s longest cable car system to carry Bolivia’s commuters. ZDNET. https://www.zdnet.com/article/worlds-largest-cable-car-system-to-carry-bolivias-commuters/
  11. These are the 10 most congested cities in the world. (2021, January 21). World Economic Forum. https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2021/01/covid-19-10-most-congested-world-cities-congestion-traffic/
  12. The busiest time of year for Uber and Lyft drivers. (2022, May 17). Fast track Leasing. https://www.fasttrackleasingllc.com/the-busiest-time-of-year-for-uber-and-lyft-drivers/
  13. Carter, S. M. (n.d.). The top 10 US cities where workers have the longest commutes. CNBC. https://www.cnbc.com/2019/01/22/the-top-10-us-cities-where-workers-commute-the-longest-.html

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