In the UK, we are not short of challenges when it comes to enjoying the journey’s on public transportation: cancelled services, slow trains, people packed into public transport like sardines and in busy periods a high risk of being late.
It would not be unfair to say that passengers feel as though transportation links have routinely let them down.
According to the Transport Statistics Great Britain 2016 report from the Department for Transport, passengers working in London clock up the longest average commute at 46 minutes, with the rest of the UK having an average between 23 minutes and 27 minutes.
That’s excluding some of the marathon commutes that some people make in the UK, some coming from the West Midlands down to London each day. According to research by Moovit, Britons endure more marathon commutes (commutes of two hours or more) than anyone else in Europe, each day.
However, despite these grievances, the UK’s transportation links are far from the wo rst in the world – and are, in fact, amongst the best. We have seats, air conditioning (sometimes), plug sockets (on trains) bathrooms, and most of the time, air to breathe. Our commute is a breeze when compared to that of countries like India, China and Japan, and even more so when compared to some of the extreme commuters around! We’ve been looking at some of the most arduous commutes in the world, so the next time a train is late, it’s worth considering … it could be worse…:
Worst daily commutes around the world
Moving eight million commuters around the capital, Tokyo, on a daily basis, Japan dwarfs those of other cities. Packed trains literally mean that passengers are crushed into carriages. Despite the trains being on time and clean, would you trade that for having no personal space whatsoever?
With the second largest rail network in the world, India moves a whopping 23 million passengers a day! However many of these passenger hang onto the side of the trains, a sight you may have seen in news, movies or pictures.
Beijing is the most expensive city in the world for rental, forcing workers to live on the outskirts of the city where prices are more affordable. Like Tokyo, this means that the daily commute is a popular task for many white collar workers. The average travel time is 52 minutes, however hundreds of thousands of workers spend on average six hours commuting to and from Beijing each day!
Taking the commute to the extreme
If that’s not enough to make you feel a little better the next time you squeeze onto a busy train or bus, spare a thought for two of the world’s most extreme commuters. Curt von Badinski, the CTO of tech company Motiv, travels 800 miles from Burbank, California, to San Francisco and back, which takes two cars, two plane rides, and six hours to complete. Why is the obvious question? It’s cheaper! Badinski saves a significant amount of money commuting this way.
Similarly, Sam Cookney calculated he could save a tremendous amount of money commuting from Barcelona, Spain to London. Cookney started commuting from Barcelona to avoid the extortionate costs of housing prices in the capital.
What improvements could be made to the daily commute?
Faced with these long commutes, what changes could be made to improve the passenger experience and pass the time. Below we’ve included a list of improvements that could easily be made to the UK passenger commute.
- Continuous, uninterrupted wi-fi coverage on a secure local network that performs even when moving at speed or in rural areas.
- On-board information and communication streamed directly to mobile devices.
- Automatic payment options from mobile devices, smart ticketing and live connections with other transport networks and services.
- Luggage monitoring solutions for long journeys, customers want peace of mind and comfort in knowing where their items are.
- Seat reservation direct to a smart phone enabling passengers to choose the exact seat they want before they even step on the train.
- In seat ordering allowing passengers to order food and refreshments from the catering carriage which is then delivered to their seat.
If you are interested in reading more about how to bring public transport into the 21st Century, click on the link below to download our eBook: