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Inrix Scorecard shows USA congestion grew at three times the GDP

Inrix’s seventh Annual Traffic Scorecard Report has revealed that traffic congestion increased in the USA during 2013 after two consecutive years of declines. While the country’s GDP (Gross Domestic Product) grew at a rate of 1.9%, traffic congestion increased approximately 6% when compared to 2012. If economic growth continues in 2014 as economists suggest, drivers can expect more delays and longer commute times on the USA’s roads this year. Last year, 61 USA metropolitan areas experienced increased traffic congestion; a big shift from 2012, when only six cities experienced increases. Nine of America’s top ten cities for traffic experienced increases in 2013. The only city showing a decline was Washington DC, which was attributed to cuts in government spending and hiring resulting from the budget sequester and the US government shutdown in October.

By analyzing traffic in the USA’s 100 largest metropolitan areas in 2013, Inrix data revealed that drivers wasted an average of 47 hours in the top 10 worst traffic cities. The worst three cities were: Los Angeles, with 64 hours wasted and congestion up 8.5%; Honolulu (60 hours, up 18%); and San Francisco (56 hours, up 13%). “While bad news for drivers, the gains we’ve seen in the USA in 2013 are cause for optimism about the direction of the economy,” said Bryan Mistele, Inrix president and chief executive officer. “If we’re to avoid traffic congestion becoming a further drain on our economies, we must invest in intelligent transportation systems and connected car technologies now. It’s too late to build our way out of congestion; we’ve learned there is no such thing as ‘shovel ready projects’. Optimizing road networks through better technology and data analytics will be the only way to relieve congestion, as the economy recovers in the near term.”

March 6, 2014

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