Alarming traffic congestion data highlights need for mobility solutions
The crippling inefficiency of congestion and the need for businesses to find alternative mobility and last mile solutions in major cities have been laid bare by new traffic figures.
INRIX’s annual Global Traffic Scorecard reveals average speeds in the world’s most significant urban areas and highlights the hundreds of hours lost as drivers sit at standstill.
148 hours lost annually
London, despite being one of the world’s first capitals to implement a Congestion Charging zone, was the city most heavily impacted by traffic congestion, with drivers losing 148 hours over the year, followed by Paris (140 hours lost), Brussels (134 hours lost), Moscow (108 hours) and New York (102 hours).
INRIX also tracked the average last mile speed as 17.6km/h (11mph) in London and Paris, and 16km/h (10mph) in Brussels.
Ironically, these speeds are actually faster and congestion levels significantly lower than 2019, due to lower traffic levels because of lockdowns and people working from home. Drivers in Paris, for example, saved 25 hours compared to pre-COVID measures, and average speeds in London, Paris, Rome and New York all enjoyed improvements of between 10% and 27%.
Cost of congestion
Nonetheless, INRIX calculated that congestion cost the average driver in New York $1,595 in lost time and productivity, with similar financial impacts in London (£1,211) and Munich (€740).
Data from smartphones, cars, trucks and city sensors was captured and analysed to create the Global Traffic Scorecard, which ranks congestion and mobility trends across more than 1000 cities in 50 countries.
“Access to reliable data is the first step in tackling congestion,” said a spokesman for INRIX. “Applying big data to create intelligent transportation systems is key to solving urban mobility problems. INRIX data and analytics on mobility, traffic and traffic signals, parking and population movement help city planners and engineers make data-based decisions to prioritise spending to maximise benefits and reduce costs now and into the future.”
|City||Hours lost in congestion (2021 rank)||Change from pre-COVID||Last mile speed (km/h)|
|New York City NY||102 (9)||-27%||19.2|
|Chicago IL||104 (7)||-28%||24|
|Philadelphia PA||90 (16)||-37%||19.2|
|Boston MA||78 (28)||-47%||24|
|Saint Petersburg||75 (32)||-50%||24|