Vote 2020 graphic
Everything you need to know about and expect during
the most important election of our lifetimes

The Worst Urban Commutes In The World

Illustration for article titled The Worst Urban Commutes In The World

These days it seems like everyone and their mom is coming up with ways to improve our crappy commutes. Hyperloop! Monorail! Golden Dolphins! It makes sense though, some commutes are just really, incredibly bad.


You may think "aw man, my commute is the worst. I gotta drive half an hour, to this job I hate, and sometimes there's traffic, and all I have in here is my comfy seat and my banging' tunes on my iPod."


You, sir and/or madam, are the worst. You have no idea how bad it can get. How not only soul-crushing a commute may be, but how physically crushing it as well. You may complain about your $200 monthly car payment, but that's nothing on one city charging you $225 for the privilege of being packed like a sardine onto their metro system every workday for four weeks. And that half hour traffic jam? That's nothing on some stationary calamities that stretch for over 100 miles.

These are the worst urban commutes in the world.

1) Beijing

For as much as China makes noise about its grand maglev trains that zip about, it still suffers from outdated and over-utilized urban infrastructure like the rest of us. The horrifying dystopian nightmare in the video above was shot during the morning commute along Beijing's Line 13, and it shows the effects of what happens when millions of people all move to the cities at once in a fell swoop of industrialization.

2) India

In the only other country in the world besides China with more than a billion people, they've just given up on trying to pack as many people in the trains as possible, and pack them on the trains. India not only suffers from an aging infrastructure as well, but it features some of the largest religious pilgrimages in the world, leading to extremely active periods along lines that are barely equipped to handle the masses.


Riding on top of a train looks like fun to the child-like part of my brain (to be fair, that's a lot of my brain), but the adult part is freaking out over how many people get injured and how awful it must be when it rains. And you thought it was bad when you forgot your umbrella.

Illustration for article titled The Worst Urban Commutes In The World

3) Sao Paulo, Brazil

Despite New York holding the title of the city with the longest commute in America (48 minutes), traffic jams in Sao Paulo have stretched for over 180 miles:

For starters, they have a special radio station dedicated entirely to reporting the city's traffic conditions. Fabiana Crespo told the BBC that she has to drive from one end of the city to the other to get to work. She spends nearly four hours per day in her car.P


Riots on the streets of Brazil have often focused on basic public services. President Dilma Rousseff recently announced $4 billion for subways and buses in Sao Paulo, but it looks like it's a lot of too little, too late.

4) Tokyo

Tokyo, a megalopolis with a metropolitan area population of more than 35,000,000 people, seems to have entirely given up on its overcrowding-on-the-train issue. Instead of letting people ride on top, though, Japan likes to be a bit more orderly and instead has strong men in white gloves just shove you in instead.


Oh, and not to mention the rampant groping.

5) Anywhere in Russia

With the advent of Russian dash cams, it's become possible for people who don't live there to see just how terrifying the country's roads truly are. Exploding trucks, busy cows, and falling trees all seem to be regular obstacles to overcome in the average Russian's daily commute.


Okay, so I'm exaggerating a bit, but still. Russian commutes are scary.

Illustration for article titled The Worst Urban Commutes In The World

6) London

What's so wrong with London, you ask? Well sure, it's got those posh British accents and trains that seem to arrive on time and they're quiet and they go everywhere, but you pay out the nose for it. London is the most expensive commuter city in the world, with a Zone 1-4 peak single journey ticket retailing for three pounds sixty. Do the math on that and convert it into American money, and you're looking at a commuting cost of $2,927 every year. Yep, almost three grand to listen to the crappy music coming out of the crappy earbuds of the guy next to you. You're welcome.


Think you've got a worse commute? Let us know in the comments below!

Photo credits: Getty, AP, Andre Zehetbauer

Share This Story

Get our newsletter


I don't think London will really be that expensive if you use Oyster, only tourists or people that really just need that single ticket pay 3,60£.

In comparison, I pay 1080€/year for public commute, although I get some refund in taxes. And it still is way cheaper than owning a car. ( In Finland.)