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Bogotá remains most congested city in the world

The 2020 Inrix Global Traffic Scorecard reveals that drivers in the Colombian city lose 133 hours a year to congestion and is followed in the top three congested cities by Bucharest and New York.

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Colombian capital of Bogotá ranked the most congested city for the second year running
Colombian capital of Bogotá ranked the most congested city for the second year running

Bogotá, Colombia, and Bucharest, Romania, top the list of the most congested cities in the world with drivers losing 133 hours and 134 hours a year respectively, a new study shows.

 

The 2020 Global Traffic Scorecard from transportation analytics and connected car services provider, Inrix, ranked congestion and mobility trends throughout the pandemic across more than 1,000 cities, across 50 countries.

 

New York (100 hours), Moscow (100 hours) and Philadelphia (95 hours) round out the worst five cities for congestion globally.

 

Re-imposed lockdowns

 

The coronavirus crisis has reshaped everyday lives. Most employers were forced to introduce “work from home” policies, while governments around the world imposed, lifted and re-imposed lockdowns to help limit the virus’ spread.

 

Unsurprisingly, these policies resulted in large decreases in travel across all modes, the likes of which are unprecedented throughout the entire period vehicular, rail and air travel data has been collected, Inrix reports.

 

The study found that Bogotá’s 133 hours represented a 31 per cent reduction in lost time for drivers from 2019. In Europe, Rome saw the greatest reductions in delay compared to 2020, dropping 60 per cent, followed by Brussels (-58 per cent), Dublin (-57 per cent), Athens (-54 per cent) and London (-53 per cent).

“The reduction in congestion has resulted in quicker commutes for essential workers, more reliable deliveries and streamlined freight movement, all of which are vital to the economy”

In the US, Portland, Oregon, saw the largest drop (-66 per cent) in trips to downtown since the pandemic and related restrictions took hold, followed by San Francisco (-64 per cent), Washington DC (-60 per cent), Detroit (-59 per cent) and Boston (-56 per cent).

 

Nationwide, the largest metros saw an average decline of 44 per cent in city centre trips. As a result, downtown speeds increased as much as 42 per cent, providing further evidence that urban travel is still lagging behind in the recovery.

 

Nationally, US drivers saved more than 3.4 billion hours, resulting in $51bn in time savings compared to 2019.

 

“Although travel to city centres has been the most affected by government restrictions and the spread of the virus, the reduction in congestion has resulted in quicker commutes for essential workers, more reliable deliveries and streamlined freight movement, all of which are vital to the economy,” said Bob Pishue, transportation analyst at Inrix.

 

“We expect city trips will continue to lag suburban and rural travel through 2021.”

 

Multiple commute areas

 

According to Inrix, the 2020 scorecard builds upon the methodology adopted two years ago by identifying multiple commute areas within cities, capturing each city’s own unique mobility profile. Furthermore, the 2020 scorecard analyses travel times, miles-travelled, trip characteristics and the impact of incidents on congestion within a city.

 

The 2020 scorecard calculates time lost in congestion by employing traffic data across multiple commute sub areas within a city. Commute sub areas are identified based upon the concentration of trips concluding within a defined area. 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.

 

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