File picture: David Ritchie / Independent Media.
File picture: David Ritchie / Independent Media.

How the time of morning affects commute times

By Motoring Staff Time of article published Sep 14, 2017

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Trying to convince your boss that your day would be more productive if you showed up later for work might be tricky, but new research from automotive analysis company Lightstone might help give your argument some punch.

Using data supplied by Tracker, Lightstone has accurately deciphered average travel times for commuters who leave for work at different times of the morning. 

The research includes statistics for commuters travelling to Sandton from the northern and southern outskirts of Johannesburg, and to Cape Town CBD from the city’s surrounding suburbs.

Unfortunately for the late sleepers, the research shows that leaving early for work has a similar effect on travel time as leaving late, so prepare your defence carefully before approaching the boss.

Drive Time to Sandton from Northern Outskirts

If Google Maps is to be trusted, an average drive from Pretoria to Sandton should take around 37 minutes. Using Tracker’s data from May to August this year, Lightstone has determined that drivers embarking on this trip at 6:15am will spend one hour and 15 minutes fighting traffic. But, leaving at a less congested 5am would shave the commute down to 45 minutes, while leaving at 9am would bring the time down to just under 50 minutes. 

The graph above displays average travel times to Sandton from Pretoria, Midrand, Midstream, Centurion and Sandton’s nearby suburbs, when leaving at 5am to 9am in 15 minute increments.

Drive Time to Sandton from Southern Outskirts

The story is much the same for travellers to Sandton from the South of Johannesburg. Again, Alberton to Sandton should take 37 minutes, but leaving at 7am would bring the commute up to one hour and 11 minutes, while early birds leaving at 5am would need only 33 minutes and late bloomers leaving at 9am would need to bank on around 38 minutes.

The graph above depicts travel times to Sandton from Alberton, Benoni, Edenvale, Johannesburg CBD and Sandton’s suburbs.

Drive Time to Cape Town from surrounding suburbs

Interestingly, when compared to Sandton, Cape Town’s traffic peaks 15 minutes earlier. An average drive from Kuilsriver to Cape Town should take around 35 minutes, but those leaving at peak traffic times between 6.15 and 6.30am, would nearly double their travel time. And, even though Durbanville in further from Cape Town than Kuilsriver, the travel time for the former is roughly 15 minutes less.

The graph below indicates average travel times to Cape Town from Bellville, Kuilsriver, Durbanville, Milnerton and the CBD’s outskirts.

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