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News   July 10, 2012   by CARS Magazine

Study Finds Vancouver, Toronto and Ottawa Are among the Top 10 Most Congested Cities in North America

TomTom today launches the first quarterly Congestion Index that accurately identifies and analyzes traffic congestion in major cities across North America. The report, initially covering 26 major cities, finds Vancouver to be the most congested...


TomTom today launches the first quarterly Congestion Index that accurately identifies and analyzes traffic congestion in major cities across North America. The report, initially covering 26 major cities, finds Vancouver to be the most congested city in Canada and the second most congested city in North America. On average, journey times in Vancouver take 30% longer than when traffic in the city is flowing freely and 65 per cent longer during evening rush hour. Toronto (#9) and Ottawa (#10) also made the list of the top 10 most congested cities in North America. The TomTom Congestion Index, including individual city reports, can be found at www.tomtom.com/congestionindex.

The TomTom Congestion Index is the world’s most accurate barometer of congestion in urban areas. The Index is uniquely based on real time travel data captured by vehicles driving along the entire road network within the select cities. TomTom’s traffic database contains over six trillion data measurements and is growing by five billion measurements every day.

The Congestion Index compares travel time during non-congested periods (free flow) with travel times in peak hours. The difference is expressed as a percentage increase in travel time, representing the congestion level. The top ten most congested cities, ranked by overall congestion level, between January and March 2012 were:

1.   Los Angeles, 33%   6.   San Francisco, 25%
2.   Vancouver, 30%   7.   Washington, 24%
3.   Miami, 26%   8.   Houston, 23%
4.   Seattle, 25%   9.   Toronto, 22%
5.   Tampa, 25%   10.   Ottawa, 22%

“Over the years, with the help of our customers, we have built the largest and most accurate database of travel times in the world,” said Harold Goddijn, chief executive officer of TomTom. “When we combine this travel database with our detailed real-time traffic information and routing technology, we can not only pinpoint congestion, but can guide drivers away from congested areas onto faster routes.”

“Even when only a percentage of drivers use a different and faster route, the available capacity on the entire road network increases, which benefits all drivers,” Goddijn added.

TomTom’s Congestion Index also compares congestion levels between January and March 2012 with the same period in 2011. Based on this analysis, Seattle saw the biggest increase in traffic congestion, while Houston, Ottawa and San Francisco also saw increased levels of congestion. Conversely, Edmonton, New York, Boston, Minneapolis and Toronto experienced a reduction in congestion levels.


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