Car finance provider Moneybarn has standardised the latest city and country-level data available for key categories including time spent commuting each day, cost of petrol and the cost of a monthly travel pass to rate global cities from best to worst for commuting.
Of the 114 global cities analysed, Amsterdam (6.93) ranks top overall, followed by Munich (6.1) and Oslo (5.98) in second and third place. Hamburg (5.89) and Berlin (5.75) complete the top five.
Top ten best cities for commuting
Three-quarters of the best-performing cities are in Europe, with Germany dominating three of the top five positions. The only three cities outside Europe in the top ten are Canberra, Ottawa and Victoria.
While Amsterdam doesn’t have the shortest commute in the world (held by Tokyo, Madrid and Barcelona) it scores highly for factors which significantly reduce commuter stress.
Amsterdam boasts an impressive public transport network including metros, buses, trams, ferries and trains, plus an affordable I Amsterdam City Card, giving users unlimited use of the GVB public transport system for up to 72 hours.
The city has also invested in sustainable travel, which is reflected in its positive air pollution score (7.65). Amsterdam scores top marks for the number of available EV charging stations and highly for its commitment to accommodating cyclists.
The Netherlands rewards commuting cyclists with tax credits of €0.19 per kilometre, has widened bike lanes, built more low-speed cycle streets and redesigned intersections to make them safer.
The only downside to the Amsterdam commute? If you’re driving, the cost of petrol is high, with prices ranked among the most expensive in the world.
The German cities appearing in Moneybarn’s top five commuter cities are Munich (2), Hamburg (4) and Berlin (5).
Germany is well-known for its efficient and innovative public transportation and is working to bring its latest project, the “Ideenzug” (Ideas Train), to life by 2020. This concept is set to revolutionise morning commutes with modern seating, tech-forward amenities and work areas.
Ranking second globally, Munich receives top marks for time spent waiting at a train station (10 minutes on average), its pollution ranking (8.86) and average walking distance from work (8.11) at 0.72km.
However, it misses out on the top spot with lower scores for cycle ways (4.2), EV charging stations (3.06) and the cost of petrol (2.94).
London ranks ninth overall, scoring well for time spent waiting for a train (8.33) – on average 13 minutes – and average walking distance to work (9.61) at 0.53km.
However, the average commuting time is around 73 minutes and London has the lowest global score for the cost of a monthly travel pass. Research shows nearly two-thirds of Londoners have skipped work because they were unable to afford their commute.
An average monthly pass in the UK is around £60, but in London, a zone 1-5 travelcard can cost up to a staggering £230 a month alone.
At the other end of the spectrum, Istanbul (2.46) is ranked as the worst city for commuting, closely followed by Ankara (2.95). Turkey features three times in the bottom five, with Izmir (2.98) also appearing in fourth position.