Member News: INRIX Ranks Most Congested Cities in the World- INRIX 2018 Global Traffic Scorecard Just Released

  • Boston (164 hours lost due to congestion) and Washington D.C. (155 hours) ranked as the most congested cities in the United States, over 15 hours per year more than the next most congested cities, Chicago (138 hours) and Seattle (138 hours)
  • New York City (133 hours), Los Angeles (128 hours), Pittsburgh (127 hours), Portland (116 hours), San Francisco (116 hours), Philadelphia (112 hours) round out the top 10 most congested U.S. cities
  • Boston was the only U.S. city included in the top 10 most congested cities worldwide
  • New York City is the slowest U.S. city with ‘last mile’ speeds of 9 MPH, meaning it is faster to bike than drive or taking the bus


KIRKLAND, Wash., Feb. 11, 2019 –
 INRIX, Inc., the world leader in mobility analytics and connected car services, today published the 2018 Global Traffic Scorecard that identified and ranked congestion and mobility trends in more than 200 cities, across 38 countries. Americans lost an average of 97 hours a year due to congestion, costing them nearly $87 billion in 2018, an average of $1,348 per driver.

In the U.S., the 2018 Global Traffic Scorecard analyzed congestion and the severity of it in the top 60 urban areas. Boston (164 hours lost due to congestion) and Washington D.C. (155 hours) ranked as the most congested two cities in the U.S., over 15 hours per year more than the next most congested cities, Chicago (138 hours) and Seattle (138 hours). While famous for its congestion, Los Angeles’ (ranked fifth in impact; 128 hours lost in 2018) constant gridlock does not have the severity as the other top-ranked cities due to its sprawling geography and massive road network.

Boston drivers lost up to $2,291 per year due to congestion, followed by Washington D.C. ($2,161), Seattle ($1,932), Chicago ($1,920) and New York City ($1,859). Wichita, Kan., had the lowest cost of congestion among the U.S. cities studied at $304 per driver.

New York City was also one of the country’s most congested metros, with the ‘last mile’ taking drivers seven minutes. In contrast, Los Angeles (four minutes) has employment across a wider geographic area, preventing severe downtown congestion experienced in more centralized cities.

“Congestion costs Americans billions of dollars each year. It will continue to have serious consequences for national and local economies, businesses and citizens in the years to come,” said Trevor Reed, transportation analyst at INRIX. “If we’re to avoid traffic congestion becoming a further drain on our economy, we must invest in intelligent transportation systems to tackle our mobility challenges.”

Table 1: 10 Most Congested Urban Areas in the U.S.

2018 Impact Rank (2017) Urban Area Hours Lost in Congestion (Rank 2018) Year Over Year Change Intercity Last Mile-Travel Time (minutes) Intercity Last-Mile Speed (MPH) Cost of Congestion (per driver) Cost of Congestion (per city)
1 (1) Boston, MA 164 (1) -10% 6 11 $2,291 $4.1B
2 (2) Washington, DC 155 (2) -3% 5 11 $2,161 $4.6B
3 (5) Chicago, IL 138 (4) 4% 5 12 $1,920 $6.2B
4 (3) New York City, NY 133 (5) -4% 7 9 $1,859 $9.5B
5 (4) Los Angeles, CA 128 (6) 0% 4 14 $1,788 $9.3B
6 (6) Seattle, WA 138 (3) 0% 6 10 $1,932 $2.9B
7 (11) Pittsburgh, PA 127 (7) 5% 5 13 $1,776 $1.2B
8 (7) San Francisco, CA 116 (9) -5% 6 10 $1,624 $3.4B
9 (10) Philadelphia, PA 112 (10) 0% 6 10 $1,568 $3.3B
10 (8) Portland, OR 116 (8) -9% 5 13 $1,625 $1.4B 


The Most Congested Corridors in the U.S.
For the fourth year in a row, the Cross Bronx Expressway (I-95) in New York City tops the INRIX list of worst corridors, with drivers wasting a total of 114 hours per year at peak hours in congestion. The list of corridors is dominated by the Top 5 most congested cities in the U.S., accounting for nine of the 10 worst. Surprisingly, Washington D.C., number two in the most congested cities ranking, does not have any corridors that appear on the list. Despite extreme levels of congestion, traffic is diffusely across the region and concentrated to a high degree on major arterials.

Table 2: 10 Most Congested U.S. Roads in 2018

Rank City Road Name From To Daily Delay (minutes) Yearly Delay (hours)
1 New York City Cross Bronx Expressway Bruckner Expressway Trans Manhattan Expressway 29 114
2 Chicago I-94|I-90 Stevenson Expressway I-294 26 102
3 Chicago I-290 (Eisenhower Expressway) I-94 I-294 23 93
4 Los Angeles I-10 I-405 I-110 19 74
5 Pittsburgh I-376 I-79 Pennsylvania Turnpike 18 72
6 Philadelphia I-76 I-476 I-676 13 53
7 Boston I-93 Massachusetts Ave. Connector Braintree 13 53
8 New York City I-278 Brooklyn Queens Expressway Long Island Expressway Manhattan Bridge 13 51
9 Los Angeles I-5 Hollywood I-110 13 50
10 New York City I-87 Major Deegan Expressway Robert F. Kennedy Bridge Cross Bronx Expressway 12 49


How U.S. Cities Compare to Top Cities Worldwide
At the global level, Moscow topped the list of the world’s most gridlocked cities (210 hours lost due to congestion) when weighting for population, followed by Istanbul, Bogota, Mexico City and São Paulo. The dominance of Latin American cities should not be a surprise due to their rapid urbanization, high levels of informal settlements, unforgiving topographies and financial volatility. Boston was the only U.S. representative in the top 10 most congested cities in the world.

Table 3: 10 Most Congested Cities in the World in 2018

2018 Impact Rank (2017) Urban Area Country Region Hours Lost in Congestion (Rank 2018) Year Over Year Change
1 (1) Moscow Russia Europe 210 (10 ) -12%
2 (3) Istanbul Turkey Europe 157 (32 ) 6%
3 (2) Bogota Colombia South America 272 (1 ) -5%
4 (4) Mexico City Mexico South America 218 (9 ) 3%
5 (5) São Paulo Brazil South America 154 (39 ) -1%
6 (6) London United Kingdom Europe 227 (6 ) 1%
7 (8) Rio de Janeiro Brazil South America 199 (13 ) 15%
8 (7) Boston, MA United States North America 164 (25 ) -6%
9 (9) Saint Petersburg Russia Europe 200 (12 ) -5%
10 (13) Rome Italy Europe 254 (2 ) 16%

 

Good data is the first step in tackling congestion. Applying big data to create intelligent transportation systems is key to solving urban mobility problems. INRIX data and analytics on traffic, parking and population movement help city planners and engineers make data-based decisions to prioritize spending in order to maximize benefits and reduce costs now and for the future.

The key findings of the INRIX 2018 Global Traffic Scorecard provide a quantifiable benchmark for governments and cities across the world to measure progress to improve urban mobility and track the impact of spending on smart city initiatives.

Please visit www.inrix.com/scorecard for:

  • Full 2018 Global Traffic Scorecard report, including rankings for the U.S., U.K. and Germany
  • Global infographic
  • Interactive webpage with data and information for more than 200cities and 38 countries
  • Complete methodology

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Notes to Editors:

Data Sources
INRIX analyzed 500 Terabytes of data from 300 million different sources covering over 5 million miles of road. The data used in the 2018 Global Traffic Scorecard is the congested or uncongested status of every segment of road for every minute of the day, as used by millions of drivers around the world that rely on INRIX-based traffic services.

Research Methodology
The INRIX 2018 Global Traffic Scorecard is not directly comparable to the 2017 Global Traffic Scorecard due to different metrics and criteria of analysis. The 2017 Global Traffic Scorecard measured time spent in congestion for the median commuter whereas the 2018 Global Traffic Scorecard not only analyzes time lost, but also the severity of congestion.

The 2018 INRIX Global Traffic Scorecard calculates time lost in congestion by employing peak, off-peak and free flow data. Peak corresponds to the absolute worst portion of the morning and afternoon commute. Off-peak is the low point between the peak periods. An economic analysis was performed to estimate the total cost to the average driver in a city, and a total cost to the city population. Worst corridors are limited to those that have the highest traffic volume and are ranked by the average hours of delay per driver in 2018. Additional metrics are available online and in the full report.