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Where Commuters Feel the Pain Most

Recently, International Business Machines asked more than 8,000 drivers, or about 40 from each of 20 global cities it surveyed, about their daily commutes. (The 20 cities were selected from the world’s top 65 for size and economic activity.) The picture painted by the results of this annual “Commuter Pain Survey” was not pretty: A little over 41 percent of respondents believe their commutes have worsened over the last three years.

IBM hopes the results will provoke discussion and eventually inspire real solutions. For now, the practical answers will likely involve the wise use of technology to help commuters avoid the worst drive times and the most ensnaring traffic zones. Policy can also make a difference: Stockholm implemented a system for charging drivers as a way to eliminate congestion, which has effectively reduced morning commute times by an average of 50 percent. Another 41 percent of those IBM surveyed believe that improved public transpiration would help reduce commuting stress.

IBM compiled the index by asking respondents to consider 10 issues: commuting time, time spent stuck in traffic, the price of gas, whether traffic has gotten better or worse, the problem of start-and-stop traffic, commuting stress, commuting anger, a commute’s effect on work, traffic so bad that driving comes to a halt, and driving decision-making based on traffic.

On the more positive end of the rating scale, the top three of the 20 cities were Montreal, London, and Chicago, but “best” is relative, the survey said. Click ahead to see the 10 worst cities for commuting, accompanied by some of the commuting-related findings specific to each city.

By Colleen KanePosted 10/11/11

Jonathan Smith | Lonely Planet | Getty Images