TomTom Traffic Index: Congestion Up, but New Technologies Show Promise in the U.S.

Cities Investing in Traffic Mitigation Tactics See Steady Improvements in Traffic Congestion

AMSTERDAM, June 3, 2019 — (PRNewswire) —  TomTom ( TOM2), the location technology specialist, today released the TomTom Traffic Index, a report that provides drivers, city planners, auto manufacturers and policy makers with unbiased statistics and information about congestion levels in 403 cities across 56 countries around the world. Now in its eighth year, the TomTom Traffic Index offers the most-data driven insight into congestion in urban areas and ideas about how traffic can be alleviated.

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Los Angeles takes the top spot in the U.S. this year with drivers spending an average of 41 percent extra travel time stuck in traffic. Following Los Angeles, the top five most congested cities in the U.S. are rounded out by New York, N.Y. (36 percent), San Francisco (34 percent), San Jose, Calif. (32 percent), and Seattle, Wash. (31 percent), respectively.

Ranking of the most congested cities in U.S (Overall daily congestion level – extra travel time):

1

Los Angeles, CA

41%

6

Miami, FL

30%

2

New York, NY

36%

7

Chicago, IL

28%

3

San Francisco, CA

34%

8

Washington, D.C.

28%

4

San Jose, CA

32%

9

Honolulu, HI

28%

5

Seattle, WA

31%

10

Atlanta, GA

26%

The Global Picture: Congestion on the Rise
Traffic congestion has increased globally during the past decade, and nearly 75 percent of the cities TomTom includes in the new Traffic Index report had increased or stable congestion levels between 2017 and 2018, with only 90 cities showing measurable decreases.

Ralf-Peter Schaefer, TomTom's VP of Traffic information, said: "Globally, traffic congestion is rising. And that's both good and bad news. It's good because traffic increases often indicate a strong economy, but the flip side is drivers wasting time sitting in traffic, not to mention the huge environmental impact."

Significant differences appear when comparing continents: for example, many of the biggest decreases were found in Asia, with most significant dips found in Jakarta (-8%), while nearly every city in South America posted increases, the largest (8%) identified in Lima, Peru.

North America's top five most congested cities are Mexico City (52%), Los Angeles (41%), Vancouver (38%), New York (36%), and San Francisco (34%).

Hope on the Horizon
In the U.S., cities can learn from Portland, Ore. and Salt Lake City, Utah, where congestion improved by 3 percent and 2 percent, respectively. Both cities have found success deploying traffic reduction measures, and for many years, invested heavily in sophisticated traffic light optimization, bike infrastructure, light rail transit, and reductions to parking availability. In New Haven, Conn., the city has embraced integrated transit, bicycle, and pedestrian options and to ensure job growth happens in locations with non-car commuting options which has also resulted in a 2 percent congestion dip.

Nick Cohn, Senior Traffic Expert, TomTom, comments: "Traffic congestion is a fact of life for every driver – and this year's Traffic Index results show that the problem isn't going away. Although it's no surprise that cities like Los Angeles, New York City and San Francisco continue to rank at the top of the list as the most congested cities in the U.S. due to various factors, we've been pleased to uncover some positive developments in cities like Portland and Salt Lake City, which might serve as examples for other cities."

About the TomTom Traffic Index

TomTom has been collecting traffic information and providing traffic services for nearly a decade, allowing drivers to make smarter choices in route planning and avoiding congestion. TomTom's work on the future of driving – from high definition maps for autonomous vehicles, to efficient electric vehicle routing and charging – means that car makers, technology companies, road authorities and governments already have the tools to make the roads less congested.

"At TomTom, we're working towards a future where vehicles are electric, shared and autonomous so that our future really is free of congestion and emissions," adds Schaefer. "We have the technology to make this future happen – but it takes a collaborative effort. From road authorities, to governments; car makers to car drivers, we all have a part to play."

For more details about the TomTom Traffic Index, and to explore interactive rankings, visit www.tomtom.com/traffic-index. There's also helpful advice on beating traffic congestion. The Traffic Index website offers easy access to exploring city statistics and insights – as well as real-time, live traffic information.

Ranking of the most congested cities Globally (Overall daily congestion level – extra travel time – population over 800,000):

1

Mumbai, India

65%

6

Istanbul, Turkey

53%

2

Bogota, Colombia

63%

7

Jakarta, Indonesia

53%

3

Lima, Peru

58%

8

Bangkok, Thailand

53%

4

New Delhi, India

58%

9

Mexico City, Mexico

52%

5

Moscow, Russia

56%

10

Recife, Brazil

49%


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