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Wednesday October 1, 2014

On packed subways and crowded highways, billions of people participate in a short-distance population shift twice a day: the rhythmic ritual of the daily commute to and from work.

More than 300 million people use the United States’ transport systems every day, and in 2012 a whopping 76 percent of them got to work by driving alone, a U.S. Department of Transportation report out last week noted. That can make for a lot of gridlock.

Highways clogged with bumper-to-bumper cars may be the go-to image of rush-hour traffic. But peer deeper and you’ll find others.

In South Africa, brave commuters risk life and limb by hitching a ride on the front of a train. Sleek elevated metro trains slither past Dubai’s futuristic skyscrapers, their bellies packed with migrant workers who keep the city’s fancy hotels, shopping malls and construction sites humming. In Taiwan, some cling to old ways with old bicycles, jostling for road space with hundreds of buzzing scooters.

Associated Press photographers the world over set out to see how workers on five continents endure their morning and evening rush-hour commutes. This collection of 20 photos taken during the month of September shows what they found.

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