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Mumbai is world’s most traffic congested city, finds study

11th Jun 2019 12:50 pm

The study, published by global mapping company TomTom, shows Delhi to have the fourth highest level of traffic congestion in a list of 403 cities.

Navigation services major TomTom has released its Traffic Index report for 2018. The annual study, which provides data about traffic congestion levels, has found Mumbai (65 percent) to be at the top of a list of 403 cities across 56 countries. Delhi (58 percent), at fourth place, is not far behind. Although grim, the results have shown a marginal improvement for the Indian cities, which in 2017 occupied the top two positions on the list, with even higher congestion levels (Mumbai – 66 percent, Delhi – 62 percent).   

TomTom’s methodology involved establishing a baseline of travel times during uncongested and free-flow conditions in each of the cities under evaluation. Then, travel times throughout the whole day, across the entire year, for each of these cities were analysed and compared to the free-flow conditions. This helped derive the extra travel time.

So, an overall congestion level of 65 percent in Mumbai means that the extra travel time is generally 65 percent more than what an average trip would take in the city during uncongested conditions. Similarly, Delhi’s score of 58 percent shows that commuters have to spend 58 percent more time on the city’s roads on an average, compared to free-flow conditions.

A closer look at the Dutch company’s day-wise data helps quantify the scenario that most us are already familiar with. In Mumbai, higher congestions during the morning and evening peak hours result in extra travel times of 80 percent and 102 percent, respectively. This, in the real world, translates to an added 24min in the morning and 31min in the evening per 30min trip. Similar figures for the national capital region stand at 73 percent and 95 percent (an extra 22min and 29min per 30min trip) for the early and late peak traffic hours, respectively.

Other cities in the list of 10 places worst affected by traffic include Bogota (63 percent), Lima (58 percent), Moscow (56 percent), Istanbul (53 percent), Jakarta (53 percent), Bangkok (53 percent), Mexico City (52 percent) and Recife (49 percent).

10 most congested cities in the world
World rankCityCountry Congestion level in 2018Change since 2017
1MumbaiIndia 65% -1%
2Bogota Colombia 63% +1%
3LimaPeru58% +8%
4New DelhiIndia58% -4%
5MoscowRussia 56%-1%
6IstanbulTurkey53%-6%
7Jakarta Indonesia53%-8%
8BangkokThailand53%-2%
9Mexico CityMexico52%0%
10RecifeBrazil49%+2%

Now in its eighth year, the TomTom report has found that traffic congestion has increased globally during the last decade. Nearly 75 percent of the cities analysed show increased or stable congestion levels between 2017 and 2018, with only 90 cities showing measurable decreases. Ralf-Peter Schaefer, vice president, Traffic Information, TomTom, said, “Globally, traffic congestion is rising, and that’s good and bad news. It’s good because it shows a strong global economy, but the flip side is drivers wasting time sitting in traffic, not to mention the huge environmental impact.”

Congestion levels in other important cities
World rankCityCountryCongestion level in 2018Change since 2017
11Bucharest Romania48%-1%
14DublinIreland 45%+1%
17Cairo Egypt 44%-2%
22Rio de Janeiro Brazil42%+2%
24Los Angeles USA41%-1%
25TokyoJapan41%-
30Beijing China40%-
31RomeItaly39%+2%
36Vancouver Canada38%0%
39Brussels Belgium37%0%
40London UK37%+1%
41ParisFrance36%0%
42New York USA36%0%
44Kuala Lumpur Malayasia36%+1%
54BudapestHungary35%+4%
55San Francisco USA34%-1%
59SydneyAustralia34%0%
65Geneva Switzerland33%-1%
66ShanghaiChina33%-
88SingaporeSingapore31%-2%
91Berlin Germany31%+1%

Also see:

iPhone users twice as likely to text while driving than Android users

92 percent road deaths in Mumbai involve pedestrians, two-wheelers

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