INRIX Inc., world leader in transportation analytics and connected car services, has published its all-new Global Traffic Scorecard. Based on a new methodology, INRIX analyzed 1,064 cities – 240 in the US – across 38 countries, making it the largest study of traffic congestion. Based on the findings, the US ranked as the first most congested developed country in the world, with drivers spending an average of 42 hours a year in traffic during peak hours.
For the first time, the INRIX Traffic Scorecard also includes the direct and indirect costs of congestion to all the US drivers, which amounted to nearly $300 billion in 2016, an average of $1,400 per driver. The US cities dominated the top 10 most congested cities globally, with Los Angeles (first), New York (third), San Francisco (fourth), Atlanta (eighth) and Miami (tenth) each dealing with an economic drain on the city upwards of $2.5 billion caused by traffic congestion.
The Los Angeles commuters spent an average of 104 hours last year in traffic jams during peak congestion hours – more than any other city in the world. This contributed to congestion costing drivers in Los Angeles $2,408 each and the city as a whole $9.6 billion from direct and indirect costs. Direct costs relate to the value of fuel and time wasted, and indirect costs refer to freight and business fees from company vehicles idling in traffic, which are passed on to households through higher prices.
Interestingly, both New York and San Francisco, the second- and third-ranked cities in North America (89 and 83 peak hours spent in congestion respectively), have a similar average congestion rate (13 percent) as Los Angeles, but show strikingly different traffic patterns during various parts of the day.
UK Ranks Fourth
The UK ranked as the fourth most congested developed country in the world and the third most congested in Europe, with drivers spending an average of 32 hours a year in congestion during peak hours. The direct and indirect costs of congestion to all the UK motorists amounted to £30.8 billion in 2016, an average of £968 per driver. In the UK, the 2016 Traffic Scorecard analysed congestion in 87 cities and large urban areas. London remains the UK’s most congested city, and ranks second in Europe after Moscow and seventh in the world. Drivers in London spent an average of 73 hours in gridlock during peak hours. This contributed to congestion costing London drivers £1,911 each and the capital as a whole £6.2 billion from direct and indirect costs.
“The cost of this congestion is staggering, stripping the economy of billions, impacting businesses and costing consumers dearly. To tackle this problem, we must consider bold options such as remote working, wider use of road user charging and investment in big data to create more effective and intelligent transportation systems,” Graham Cookson, Chief Economist, INRIX, said.