Everyone knows sitting in traffic is a waste of time and money. You’re burning gas getting nowhere, and there are few options for productive use of your time.
Staying home and working from home in the year 2020 resulted in an average savings of $980 for U.S. drivers, according to an annual traffic report by Inrix, which analyzes traffic and transportation data. In the U.S., drivers lost an average of 26 hours due to congestion in 2020 — a big drop from 99 hours wasted in 2019 — saving the country $51 billion. (On average, the cost of traffic congestion for an American driver was $1,374 annually in 2019; that dropped to $394 in 2020.)
In the worst U.S. city, New York, drivers lost 100 hours on average to congestion, and that was in 2020; in 2019, the number was 140 hours. Globally, Bogota, Colombia, was the worst, where drivers wasted 133 hours of their lives to congestion in 2020.
But the blissful days of empty roads for those who drove during the pandemic are over. In the U.S., traffic is more unpredictable now than before the pandemic, making driving more miserable in the afternoons, the New York Times reports.
In general, and in a typical, non-pandemic year, the most congested cities in the world are generally older or rapidly growing cities, according to Inrix. Pre-automobile cities, like Paris and New York, are particularly ill-suited to the movement of vehicles. In contrast, rapidly developing South American cities, like Bogota and Quito, struggle with underdeveloped infrastructure.
Based on the Inrix 2020 Global Traffic Scorecard, these are the cities with the worst traffic in the world.