The TomTom annual traffic index was released last week, which names the worst cities around the world for travel by car. The biggest surprise? İstanbul no longer reigns supreme as the worst in the world, with the top spot being taken by Mexico City. İstanbul remains in the top five, however, along with Bangkok, Rio de Janeiro and Moscow.
On average, drivers in Mexico City spend 59 percent more travel time stuck in congested traffic than the amount of travel time it would take to reach a destination in a situation with zero congestion, even at the best travel times during the day. At worst, they can expect their travel times to be 103 percent more. It all adds up to an extra 219 hours of travel time each year.
The index compiled data reaching over an eight-year period from 295 cities in 38 countries on six continents to establish the ratings. In the past eight years, traffic congestion worldwide grew by 13 percent, but there are some stark differences based on location. For example, North America’s traffic congestion rose by 17 percent, but Europe’s only rose by 2 percent, while some specific countries, such as Italy and Spain, have actually seen a decline in traffic congestion.
When looking at individual cities in the United States, Los Angeles took the top spot, with commutes taking 41 percent more travel time than the time needed for an uncongested situation. Following Los Angeles were San Francisco, New York, Seattle, San José, Honolulu and Miami. Other top cities on the continent, besides Mexico City, include Vancouver and Toronto.
“The TomTom Traffic Index is released every year to help drivers, cities and transport planners to understand traffic congestion trends, but, most importantly, how to improve congestion globally,” said Ralf-Peter Schaefer, vice president, TomTom Traffic. “We really want everybody to think about how they can lower the amount of time they waste in traffic every day — and to realize that we all need to play a part. If even just 5 percent of us changed our travel plans, we’d improve travel times on our major highways by up to 30 percent. Collectively, we can all work together to beat traffic congestion.”
Is your city one of the top destinations for bad traffic? Do you frequently travel to cities that are? What’s your experience? Does traffic congestion change your perception of a destination when you visit as a tourist? Email us and let us know. Please include your full name and location with your email.
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