Even so, the 2019 Global Traffic Scorecard released today by traffic analytics firm INRIX found that commuters spend an average of 99 hours sitting in traffic at a cost of $88 billion, or an average $1,377 per person. What’s more, sitting in traffic costs Washington area residents an average of more than $1,700 a year
Boston, where commuters lose 149 hours a year sitting in traffic, was the most congested city for the second year in a row, followed by Chicago (145 hours), Philadelphia (142 hours), New York City (140) and Washington (124 hours).
Perhaps surprising to some: Los Angeles known for its vast network of freeways, ranked sixth. Ironically, the study’s authors attributed that to the region’s sprawling geography and massive road network.
INRIX also calculated the economic impact of congestion, which cost Boston’s drivers an estimated $2,205 per year; Chicago drivers, $2,059 per year; Philadelphia drivers, $2,016 per year; New York drivers, $1,988 per year and Washington area drivers, $1,761 per year.
The least congested of the 66 areas in the U.S.-- for the second year in a row — was Wichita. In that region, commuters lose less than two hours a year sitting in traffic.
“Congestion costs Americans billions of dollars each year. However, it appears to be stabilizing in some of the country’s most congested metros — with delays raising roughly three percent nationwide since 2017,” Trevor Reed, transportation analyst at INRIX said in a news release that accompanied the report’s release. “The continued innovation and investment in smarter roadway management is showing early signs of progress.”
Worldwide, Bogota, Colombia ranked number one, with commuters there losing an estimated 191 hours a year to traffic congestion. It was followed by Rio de Janeiro, Mexico City, Istanbul and São Paolo. Boston and Chicago ranked ninth and 10th worldwide for traffic congestion.
To determine the time loss to congestion, INRIX compares traffic in the busiest commuter corridors and sub areas during the best and worst travel times.