Drivers Lose More Than Week of Work to Traffic Delays

| September 04, 2002

The average rush-hour driver sits in traffic the equivalent of more than a week of work a year, according to a new report.

After analyzing 75 U.S. urban areas from New York City to cities with populations of 100,000, the annual Urban Mobility Report announced drivers in rush hour traffic waste about 62 hours a year idling or creeping along. Assuming an eight-hour workday, that means nearly eight workdays a year spent on traffic delays.

The city with the longest delays during rush hour is Los Angeles, at 136 hours.

The report also measured cities according to a Travel Time Index, which looked at how much slower a particular trip takes during rush hour compared with the same trip driven when traffic is flowing freely. Los Angeles topped that list, too. The study said a rush hour trip in Los Angeles takes an average 90 percent longer than the same trip during a non-rush hour period.

Those delays are costly. In 2000, the total cost for the 75 areas studied is nearly $68 billion. That’s based on 3.6 billon hours of delay and nearly 5.7 billion gallons of excess fuel consumed.


Cities with Longest Delays

  1. Los Angeles: 136 hours
  2. San Francisco-Oakland: 92 hours
  3. Washington: 84 hours
  4. Seattle: 82 hours
  5. Houston: 75 hours
  6. Dallas-Fort Worth: 74 hours
  7. San Jose, Calif.: 74 hours
  8. New York: 73 hours
  9. Atlanta: 70 hours
  10. Miami: 69 hours
  11. Boston: 67 hours
  12. Chicago: 67 hours
  13. Denver: 67 hours
  14. Orlando, Fla.: 66 hours
  15. San Bernadino, Calif.: 64 hours
  16. Austin: 61 hours
  17. Fort Lauderdale, Fla.: 61 hours
  18. Phoenix: 59 hours
  19. Detroit: 55 hours
  20. Minneapolis-St. Paul: 54 hours
  21. San Diego: 51 hours
  22. Baltimore: 50 hours
  23. Charlotte, N.C.: 47 hours

Cities with Most Traffic

  1. Los Angeles
  2. San Francisco-Oakland
  3. Chicago
  4. Washington
  5. Seattle
  6. Miami
  7. Boston
  8. San Jose, Calif.
  9. Denver
  10. New York
  11. Phoenix
  12. Portland, Ore.
  13. Houston
  14. Minneapolis-St. Paul
  15. Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
  16. San Diego
  17. Atlanta
  18. Las Vegas
  19. San Bernadino, Calif.
  20. Detroit
  21. Dallas-Fort Worth
  22. Sacramento, Calif.
  23. Orlando, Fla.
  24. Baltimore
  25. Tampa-St. Petersburg, Fla.

Source: Texas Transportation Institute

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