Sao Paulo Traffic Jams Extend 112 Miles, On Average

With so much time spent in cars, it’s inevitable that life events like meeting your future spouse occur there, too

Traffic in Sao Paolo. Photo: Flickr user scribbletaylor

Fabiana Crespo met her husband while sitting in traffic:

“I was with a friend in my car and he was in his car also with a friend. In the stop and go of the traffic jam we started driving side by side and then he started looking at me,” says Crespo.

After some flirting through the car windows, Mauricio managed to convince Fabiana to give him her phone number. He called, and an enduring love story began.”I think this is the only thing we can’t complain about in Sao Paulo’s traffic”, she says.

This is the city of Sao Paulo, Brazil, where the BBC reports that, in the city of 11 million, traffic jams average 112 miles long on Friday evenings. It can even stretch to 183 miles on particularly bad days. With so much time spent in cars, it’s inevitable that life events like meeting your future spouse occur there too.

IBM’s annual Commuter Pain Survey (which did not include Sao Paulo) awarded Mexico City the ‘most painful’ ranking:

The index is comprised of 10 issues: 1) commuting time, 2) time stuck in traffic, agreement that: 3) price of gas is already too high, 4) traffic has gotten worse, 5) start-stop traffic is a problem, 6) driving causes stress, 7) driving causes anger, 8) traffic affects work, 9) traffic so bad driving stopped, and 10) decided not to make trip due to traffic.

Mexico City scored the worst overall, and Sao Paulo’s traffic jams may cover the longest distance. The record for worst traffic jam ever, though, goes to China.

In 2010, China hosted a 74-mile long, 11 day traffic jam that stretched from Beijing towards Mongolia. Drivers started measuring distance in miles/day. Think about that the next time you’re stuck.


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