Despite advances in public transportation and ride sharing, in most cities around the world you can still spend a lot of time stuck in traffic. And, as Brennan Dodge of Ruston, a local Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Ram dealer in Ruston, LA, humorously relates “This is time that you lose forever.” What we find interesting, though, is that few people factor this into a decision of where to live. That may be a mistake because if you are moving to another city, you might want to look into the traffic flow there. Life is short, don’t invest your time in traffic jams. Just to make you feel better, though, there are probably cities that are worse than where you live or are moving to–in fact, far worse. Let’s take a look at a few of them.
Worst in the US
You might be tempted to say that New York City is the most traffic congested city in the United States. However, according to TomTom, the Amsterdam-based GPS company, the most traffic-clogged city in the United States is actually Los Angeles. Commuters in Los Angeles spent an average of 41% more time stuck in traffic than what normally-flowing traffic takes. Just for clarity purposes, here’s what that statistic means: if traffic jams cause commuters to spend 30 minutes getting to or from the office, compared to 20 minutes for the same trip when there are no traffic jams, then the daily delay amounts to 50%. In other words, it takes 50% longer than usual to get to the office. So, Los Angeles isn’t quite at 50% but is pretty close at 41%.
Worst on Earth
The distinction of the absolute worse city to commute in must be Los Angeles, right? Well, no, that distinction would easily go to Mexico City where its drivers spend 59% more time getting to and from work when traffic is jammed up. And that’s the daily average – Mexico City motorists spend a whopping 97% extra time behind the wheel during the morning rush hour!
Los Angeles: 41% average extra travel time
Salvador: 43% extra travel time
Moscow: 44% extra travel time
Rio de Janerio: 47% extra travel time
Bangkok: 57% extra travel time
Mexico City: 59% extra travel time
Hopefully the traffic will be flowing better in the city you live near, in the future. Most US cities have infrastructure improvements going on to achieve that result. However, its not so cut-and-dry. TomTom states that congestion is getting better for some cities and worse for others. America may be the worst. The United States leads the globe with a 17% jump in congestion over the last eight years. By contrast, traffic in Europe, which remains in the financial doldrums, experienced an increase in demand by only 2% since 2008. Traffic congestion in Southern European nations like Italy and Spain has actually been on the decline over the last decade, by -7% and -13%, respectively.