How People Commute Around the World

HYPERLOCAL

The global population is expected to increase by 1 billion people in under a decade (to 8.1 billion by 2025), bringing implications and challenges for nearly every industry and sector, from technology to health care to transportation. As much of the world shifts from rural areas to cities, urbanization will have a profound impact on the way we work, and how we get there.

Commute times around the world vary wildly, depending largely on infrastructure, the accessibility of public transportation and the proximity of commercial areas to transit hubs. In 2013, the world average was 40 minutes, one-way.

In the U.S., that number is considerably lower—26 minutes, according to the U.S. Census Bureau—unless you count yourself among the 3.6 million mega-commuters who spend 90 minutes or more traveling each way. Among them: commuters in Myrtle Beach, S.C., and Sarasota, Fla.

According to the navigation app Waze, which crowd sources information from its large global user base, the longest average commute last year was in Villavicencio, Colombia, where drivers logged a whopping 192.1 minutes each way in their cars.

That may change over the next few decades as advances in technology enable an increasingly mobile workforce, driverless cars ease congestion and more people opt to live closer to work, perhaps in transit-oriented developments.

Younger people in particular are increasingly looking for apartments in “revived inner city areas with high density, where they can walk, cycle, take public transport,” Philipp Rode, executive director of the London School of Economics cities institute, told Quartz.

But for now, whether they’re riding to work on bikes in Copenhagen, motor scooters in Singapore, the Tube in London or gondolas in Bolivia, people creatively figure out how to navigate their own built environment to get to work, however long it takes.

Bicycles are the choice mode of transportation for many of…
A group of commuters on scooters wait for the light…
Often the fastest mode of transportation during rush hour, the…
Many locals in Lisbon commute to work by tram, which…
The London Underground is one of the most widely used…
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