Econintersect: According to the 2015 Urban Mobility Scorecard, travel delays due to traffic congestion caused drivers to waste more than 3 billion gallons of fuel and kept travelers stuck in their cars for nearly 7 billion extra hours - 42 hours per rush-hour commuter. The total nationwide price tag: $160 billion, or $960 per commuter.
Some cities do better than others. Cleveland, Pittsburgh, San Diego and Tampa were mentioned by Tim Lomax, co-author of the report of the annual study by Texas A&M Transportation Institute and Inrix, a Kirkland, Washington company that analyzes traffic data. One of the bad things about traffic delays is that they are variable from day to day but one has to plan for the worst. This is a productivity destroyer because those extra minutes each day can not be planned for other activity. Anything squeezed in is ad hoc.
According to the report, average minutes of delay in commuter traffic has doubled since 1985. For smaller cities (less than half a million), delays have increased 4x. And things will be getting worse: Over the next five years average commuting delays will increase by 12% to 47 hours a year (8.3 billion hours wasted).
A total of 370 cities (metro areas) were reported. Econintersect has the largest 101 listed in rank order for Annual Congestion Cost per Auto Commuter in the following three tables.
To read the entire report, including appendix, click on the cover image below:
- Traffic Gridlock Sets New Records for Traveler Misery (Press Release, Texas A&M Transportation Institute, 26 August 2015)
- 2015 Urban Mobility Scorecard (Report, Texas A&M Transportation Institute and Inrix, 26 August 2015)