Your commute can influence your every single day. If you are stuck in a traffic jam on your way to work, it can immediately turn your mood sour for the next couple of hours.
As the entire human population increases each year, you can expect your commute to be so much worse. More people will need to go to work or school daily and, if governments do not do something about it, your hour of commute will lengthen to two, three, or even more.
Villavicencio, a city in Colombia with over 500,000 people, has one of the world’s longest commute times. From the data collected by Waze, the average commute in the city is 192.1 minutes. For comparison, the average commute in Amsterdam, the Netherlands’ capital, which has over a million citizens, is only 37.5 minutes.
It is very tiring to sit in a vehicle for several minutes, especially after a long day from work. Moreover, you are losing so much of your time every day that you could be spending with your loved ones or pursuing a hobby that you enjoy.
However, not all cities have it bad. Some have effectively managed traffic and public transport systems that the experience of commuting does not become a burden.
Singapore: the City-nation with the Best Public Transport System
Singapore has always been hailed as the city with one of – if not the best – public transport systems in the world. It beats New York City in the United States and London in the United Kingdom.
Singapore’s public transport system is so good that most Singaporeans prefer taking the train or a bus over other transit modes. In 2018, the use of public transport hit a record high of 7.54 million journeys each day.
The island has been very successful in providing a clean, efficient, and affordable way of traveling. Part of it can be traced to the integration of technology into the public transport system. SMRT, a major multi-modal public transport operator, uses smart technology to aid in rail planning and maintenance, making train lines even more reliable.
France: Scenic Routes Out of the City
You probably would not mind being stuck in traffic in France. At least, outside your car window, you can see sightsee. The roads of Paris can be pretty congested because of the number of locals and tourists moving around. However, out of the capital, commuting is pleasant.
Nice, known for its stunning architecture and breathtaking natural landscape, is one of the best places in the world for commutes. People spend an average of 40 minutes to journey to and from work. Moreover, public transport costs are only 1.25% of their monthly average salary, which means that it is more accessible to more people and more preferable than owning a car.
Commuting in Nice is fast because of the availability of high-speed trains, ensuring that people can go to work on time and go back home in a blink of an eye. The city’s public transport system is designed to reduce road congestion and avoid situations that will cause a traffic jam.
Other places outside of Paris, such as Toulouse and Strasbourg, are also rated favorably by locals and tourists as the cities with the world’s best commuting experience.
United States: Upstate NY is the Best for Commuters
The United States is not really the first country that comes to mind when it comes to commute. Most people, outside of a few places such as New York City, prefer to drive rather than take the public transport system, which means that more vehicles are on the road, creating traffic jams. The traffic congestions in Los Angeles, California, are infamous for being really long and frustrating.
However, there are places where the everyday journey to and from work is not bad. You, however, will have to go out of major cities and into smaller towns.
Rochester in Upstate New York has one of the shortest commute times across the U.S. The city has over one million residents, yet people only spend an average of 18.7 minutes on the road. The commute can be unpleasant during winters, however, because of heavy snowfall. But, after the roads have been cleared, traveling can be pretty smooth-sailing.
Commuting is a major part of your life regardless of whether you like it or not. However, it does not have to be the worst point of your day. There are places in the world that have managed to make commuting a pleasant experience. Governments everywhere should look at what these countries have done to make the daily travel to and from work less of a stressor.