Motorists worldwide have left the pandemic behind and are back on the roads. However, this resurgence poses a significant challenge for several of the world’s cities, as they grapple with severe traffic congestion.
To determine the cities with the worst traffic congestion, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed the annual Global Traffic Scorecard published by global transportation analytics company INRIX. We ranked the cities on INRIX’s scorecard according to the most hours lost due to traffic congestion per driver in 2022. Data on the last mile average speed, which is how fast a driver is traveling on average during the last mile on any given trip within a particular city, is also for the INRIX scorecard.
All 10 cities on our list had at least 105 lost hours per driver last year as the result of traffic congestion, the equivalent of more than four full days stuck behind the wheel. Out of the 10 cities on the list, only Paris reported a decrease from 2021. (Also read: this is the worst American city to drive in.)
Of the 10 cities reporting a traffic surge from 2021, four are in the U.S. – Boston, where hours lost in traffic increased by 72%; Miami, with a 59% increase to time lost in traffic; Chicago with a 49% increase; and New York, where drivers spent 15% more time in traffic. Mexico’s Monterrey, Miami, Canada’s Toronto, and Boston made the largest leaps in the ranking from 2021 to 2022. None had been in the top 10 in 2021. (This is the city with the longest commute in every state.)
Compared to before the COVID-19 pandemic, six cities reported a decline in lost hours. Bogota, Colombia, reported the biggest decrease at 36%. Monterrey went in the other direction, with a spike of 108% compared to pre-pandemic traffic. It was joined by Miami, whose 30% increase in time lost to traffic compared to pre-pandemic levels has come as the Florida city’s population surges.
London, the most congested city for the second straight year, has been trying to alleviate the traffic crush by implementing congestion pricing. Those driving in central London between 7 a.m. and 6 p.m., and from noon to 6 p.m. on the weekend, must prepay a daily Congestion Charge of £15 ($18.57).
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