Ride-hailing apps and services available at a touch of a button are making drivers’ lives miserable. Traffic is worse than ever, especially in big cities. The number of cars on the road is rising, while the number of people using public transit is declining.
Population and economic growth in an area are big factors in increasing congestion. In many cases, a city’s population grows much faster than its infrastructure can improve. The result is streets that cannot effectively accommodate the growing number of vehicles, which leads to massive traffic jams.
To put this in perspective, highways that are designed to run safely at speeds of 60 mph can move thousands of cars per lane an hour. When the average speed declines to 45 mph, the same highway can move 2,300 cars per lane per hour, and at lower speeds even less. When the highway is congested, fewer than 700 cars can move per lane per hour.
Controlling traffic in an attempt to prevent roads from basically becoming parking lots is a major challenge for many cities. Metropolitan areas around the world have come up with various strategies to tackle the problem. Such strategies range from tolling, providing real-time data on parking availability, apps advising people on the best mode of transportation at a given time, and implementing a public bike-sharing system.
To identify the 25 worst cities to drive in the world, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed data from INRIX Research, a global transportation intelligence company. The rank is based on the average number of hours drivers sat in traffic in 2018. The report examines traffic and mobility trends in more than 200 cities across 38 countries.