Sunday, March 18, 2012

TomTom Study Reveals Global Traffic Congestion at All Time High

traffic index

Many GPS devices include some sort of traffic information—even Google Maps now has this ability. While in the past it was a subscription service, now it’s offered free with many dedicated automotive GPS devices. However, I constantly hear people saying that their GPS traffic is useless or that it is one of those bloat features that you don’t really need. But after reading a recent report from TomTom, I think that some people may start to change their minds.

For the last six years, TomTom has conducted a study of traffic and congestion across the world. Called the TomTom Traffic Index, this study was released recently with information on 2016 traffic trends. And, as anyone who drove in a major city could tell you, traffic definitely didn’t reduce in most places. In fact, globally, traffic rose an average of 10% in 2016, and is up a whopping 23% since 2008, when the study was first conducted.

The TomTom Traffic Index measured traffic trends in 390 cities across 48 countries and 6 continents, and compiled together data from almost 19 trillion data points. With that information, it was determined that Mexico City is, once again, the most congested city in the world with drivers spending 66% additional travel time stuck in traffic anytime of the day (that number jumped to 101% during peak evening hours).

Fortunately, Mexico City was the only North American city that made it to the top ten. Here are the top congested cities in the world:

  1. Mexico City – 66%
  2. Bangkok – 61%
  3. Jakarta – 58%
  4. Chongquing – 52%
  5. Bucharest – 50%
  6. Instanbul – 49%
  7. Chengu – 47%
  8. Rio de Janeiro – 47%
  9. Tainan – 46%
  10. Beijing – 46%

The study also broke down the cities based on continent. Here is how North America did:

  1. Mexico City – 66%
  2. Los Angeles – 45%
  3. San Francisco – 39%
  4. Vancouver – 39%
  5. New York – 35%
  6. Seattle – 34%
  7. San Jose – 32%
  8. Toronto – 30%
  9. Miami – 30%
  10. Portland – 29%

You can read the full study to see how cities near you rated, or check out the entire list at the TomTom Traffic Index page.

So what do you think? Does your GPS traffic feature help with avoiding traffic snarls, or is it simply one more thing for GPS makers to hike up the price of a GPS unit? Share your thoughts below!


  1. This was inevitable. Because every country wants to show how their automotive sector is increasing sales and contributing to the economy.

    People are give bad public transport so, they want to get cars.

    Not many cities are working on making bicycle riding safer or easier.

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