Beijing, Shenzhen have world's angriest drivers

PUBLISHED : Friday, 09 September, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 09 September, 2011, 12:00am


Beijing and Shenzhen have the world's angriest drivers, according to an annual survey that studies the correlation between traffic congestion and human emotions.

'Driving causes anger' was one of 10 factors in IBM's fourth annual Commuter Pain Survey, results of which were released yesterday.

Overall, the two cities tied second in the survey of more than 8,000 drivers in 20 big cities, on six continents. Mexico City was the 'most painful' city for commuters, while Montreal was the least. Worldwide, commuters found getting to work more painful than last year.

Last year, Beijing placed first overall in the survey, when it was the only Chinese city polled.

Other factors ranking cities included commuting time, time stuck in traffic, whether the price of fuel was thought too high, traffic had got worse, start-stop traffic was a problem and traffic affected work.

The 20 polled cities were taken from a list of 65 cities considered economically important.

A great number of commuters surveyed in Beijing and Shenzhen simply gave up on their intended trips because of traffic jams, the report said.

Sheng Guangyao, a researcher of urban development and environmental studies at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said it was not surprising Beijing was among the most hated places for commuting, because such transport problems were not uncommon in cities as densely populated.

But Sheng said that the government 'should introduce administrative measures to encourage people to use public transport'.

He also pointed out that in many cities, such as Hong Kong, many car owners did not drive to work.

Beijing, notorious for its clogged roads, has vowed to adopt a variety of measures to improve the situation.

The capital has limited purchases of cars since January and is now considering charging congestion fees in central areas. In its new plan for a 'green Beijing' over the next five years, the city's government said last week that it would draft a scheme charging car drivers if they entered certain areas during rush hours.

But the proposal has aroused heated debate, as many question how it should be implemented and as others worry that it could deal a further blow to Beijing's car market.

'You'll need to build stations if you want charge people for entering a certain area,' Sheng said. 'And these stations themselves could be a contributor to congestion. I'm afraid it is not feasible for the time being.'