Rush hour has been part of commuting life in America for decades. Roads built decades ago may not be able to handle the swelling number of cars heading in and out of cities now. To make matters worse, these roads need repairs, which triggers traffic back ups. As roads age, this problem will only get worse with time.
Traffic dropped during the early part of the pandemic in cities across the world. People who once drove into cities were forced to work from home. Even public transportation was cut off for safety reasons.
Commuting is expensive, and in some cities extremely costly. Part of the cost burden is gas, part may be tolls, and cars are worn out as they hit stop and go traffic which can go one for miles.
Budget Direct released a study titled “Rush-Hour Rates”. It looks at the cost to commute by country. It considered car price, fuel, the rate at which a car’s value drops over time, repairs, and insurance. These data were pulled from GPS company TomTom, The World Bank, the IEA, and the Technical University of Dresden.
The numbers where broken into three major categories: Time Wasted In Rush Hour, Income Lost, and Extra Fuel Costs.
Hong Kong topped the list with a total cost of $2,534. The authors explained: “Hong Kong is the city where rush hour costs motorists the most: $2,534 per year ($1,464 in lost income and $1,070 in extra fuel costs).” This was against a global average of $1,343.
Hong Kong was followed closely be Geneva at $2,517, Zurich at $2,468, and Tel Aviv at $2,443. The top U.S. city was not even close to these numbers. It was Los Angeles at $1,816.
What could change this math, and bring costs down? Electric cars cost less to operate, and they will be widely available within a decade. In theory, road repaid should lower congestion. Finally, more and more people may turn to public transportation as it is improved and expanded in some cities.