- Congestion cost the average U.S. driver $869 in time lost, up $305 from last year. Drivers commuting in major metros spent a lot more, led by Chicago ($2,618), Boston ($2,270), and New York City ($1,976).
- Nationally, higher fuel costs resulted in $129 more being spent at the gas pump by the typical driver to commute. In LA, the average driver spent nearly $350 more for fuel compared to 2021, while commuters in Chicago paid $288 more for gas to commute to work in 2022.
- Chicago (155 hours), Boston (134 hours), and New York (117 hours) lost the most time to traffic congestion in the U.S. and were all in the top five for most congested cities in the world, alongside London (156 hours) and Paris (138 hours)
- Across the U.S., traffic delays were still below pre-COVID levels in over 60% of urban areas and weekday vehicle-miles traveled remained -9% below pre-COVID levels
- Washington, D.C. (23%) saw the largest jump in downtown trips compared to last year, followed by Charlotte (19%), Detroit (18%), New York (17%), and San Diego (17%)
KIRKLAND, Wash., – January 10, 2023 – INRIX, Inc., a world leader in mobility analytics and connected car services, today published the 2022 Global Traffic Scorecard that identified and ranked congestion and mobility trends in more than 1,000 cities, across 50 countries. Chicago (155 hours), Boston (134 hours), and New York (117 hours) lost the most time to traffic congestion in the U.S. and were all in the top five for most congested cities in the world, alongside London (156 hours) and Paris (138 hours).
The typical American driver lost 51 hours in congestion, up 15 hours from 2021 but still nearly 50% below pre-pandemic levels. As a result of the return to the office, higher fuel prices and inflation, congestion cost the average driver $869 in time lost, up $305 from last year, and higher fuel costs saw an average increase of $129 more being spent at the gas pump to commute.
“2022 was shaping up to be a year of re-emergence and a return to a new, post-pandemic behavioral norm, but that halted with the rise in oil prices, supply chain disruptions, and inflation,” said Bob Pishue, transportation analyst at INRIX. “Despite geopolitical and economic uncertainties, we continued to see a rise in global vehicle-miles traveled, a return toward traditional morning and evening peak commutes, growth in public transportation use, and continued gains in downtown travel. However, we have yet to fully rebound to pre-pandemic levels, and while we do anticipate a gradual increase over the coming years, we may see a small decline in 2023 should a global recession strongly take hold.”
Traffic is Back, Costs More to Commute
Drivers in Chicago (155 hours) lost the most time to traffic congestion in the U.S., with an increase of 7% compared to pre-COVID congestion levels and were only an hour behind London for the most congested city in the world. Boston (134 hours) and New York (117 hours) were next in the U.S., the fourth and fifth most congested cities in the world. Despite their high rankings and year-over-year increase in congestion, Boston (-10%) and New York (-16%) are still below pre-COVID congestion levels.
Across the country, traffic delays were still below pre-COVID levels in over 60% of urban areas and weekday vehicle-miles traveled remained -9% below pre-COVID levels.
Oil price increases around the world have resulted in soaring gasoline and diesel prices over the last year. In the U.S., national pre-pandemic prices for regular unleaded were at $2.35 per gallon in February 2020. Prices hit a high of $4.76 during June 2022, before receding to $3.25 per gallon in December 2022. This has led to increases in freight costs, commuting costs, and the prices consumers pay for goods and services.
Nationally, higher fuel costs resulted in the average commuter paying $129 more at the gas pump. Yet depending on location, fuel prices vary considerably. For example, the annual cost of fuel per driving commuter increased nearly $350 in Los Angeles compared to 2021, while drivers in Chicago paid $288 more to commute to work in 2022.
Table 1: 10 Most Congested Urban Areas in the U.S.
|2022 Rank (2021)||Urban Area||2022 Delay (2021)||Compared to Pre-COVID||Cost per Driver||Cost per City||Change in Downtown Speed (Last Mile)|
|1 (2)||Chicago, IL||155 (104)||7%||$2,618||$9.5B||-27%|
|2 (4)||Boston, MA||134 (78)||-10%||$2,270||$4.3B||-27%|
|3 (1)||New York, NY||117 (102)||-16%||$1,976||$10.2B||-15%|
|4 (3)||Philadelphia, PA||114 (90)||-20%||$1,925||$4.5B||-15%|
|5 (5)||Miami, FL||105 (66)||30%||$1,773||$4.5B||-21%|
|6 (6)||Los Angeles, CA||95 (62)||-8%||$1,601||$8.6B||-17%|
|7 (7)||San Francisco, CA||97 (64)||0%||$1,642||$2.6B||-14%|
|8 (13)||Washington, D.C.||83 (44)||-33%||$1,398||$3.5B||-21%|
|9 (8)||Houston, TX||74 (58)||-9%||$1,257||$3.7B||-16%|
|10 (10)||Atlanta, GA||74 (53)||-10%||$1,257||$3.1B||-16%|
Telecommuting/Hybrid Work Still Affecting Downtown Travel
Despite the reopening of many economies, telecommuting and hybrid work schedules have continued to remain relatively strong options for employees. With a general increase in hybrid work schedules and decrease in telecommuting schedules, trips to employment centers generally increased to downtown/city centers since their COVID-19 lows, though not all downtowns saw increases over 2021, and many started from significant deficits as shown in previous years’ Global Traffic Scorecards.
Among those U.S. downtowns analyzed, Washington, D.C. (23%) saw the largest jump in downtown trips compared to last year, followed by Charlotte (19%), Detroit (18%), New York (17%), San Diego (17%), San Francisco (15%), Portland (15%), Seattle (14%), Phoenix (14%), and Boston (13%). Despite the increase in trips to city centers, traffic volumes in most metros remain below pre-COVID levels.
The Most Congested Corridors in the U.S.
Throughout the U.S., delays on the busiest corridors increased in 2022 along with congestion metro wide. I-95 through Stamford, Connecticut, was the most congested and third most congested corridor in the country depending on the direction of travel. Drivers on the 30-mile corridor on I-95 Southbound from Sherwood Island Connector to Indian Field Road lost an average of 34.5 minutes per day in lost time during the morning commute, only to see significant congestion on the return trip Northbound, losing nearly 30 minutes on that stretch of I-95.
I-5 Southbound in Los Angeles was the second most congested corridor, as drivers lost an average of 31.8 minutes per day at the 5:00 PM rush hour. A driver taking that route 240 workdays a year would have lost on average 127 hours a year sitting in traffic.
Other notable corridors are I-93 Southbound through Downtown Boston to the Pilgrim Highway Interchange, which caused an average of 24.7 minutes lost per day at 4:00 PM, and Westbound Brooklyn Queens Expressway to Tillary Street in New York City, which caused an average of 22.6 minutes lost per day at 4:00 PM.
Table 2: 10 Most Congested U.S. Roads in 2022
|Rank||Urban Area||Road Name||From||To||
|Peak Delay (min)||Annual Hours Lost|
|1||Stamford, CT||I-95 South||Sherwood Island Connector||Indian Field Rd||8:00 AM||34.5||138|
|2||Los Angeles, CA||I-5 South||I-10||I-605||5:00 PM||31.8||127|
|3||Stamford, CT||I-95 North||Indian Field Rd||Sherwood Island Connector||4:00 PM||29.6||118|
|4||Boston, MA||I-93 South||US-3||MA-3||4:00 PM||24.7||99|
|5||New York, NY||I-278 West||I-495||Tillary St||4:00 PM||22.6||91|
|6||Concord, CA||CA-4 East||I-680||CA-242||4:00 PM||20.7||83|
|7||Stamford, CT||CT-15 North||North St||Allen Raymond Ln||4:00 PM||19.5||78|
|8||Stamford, CT||CT-15 South||CT-33 Wilton Rd||Stanwich Rd||8:00 AM||18.3||73|
|9||Chicago, IL||I-55 South||I-94||S. Central Ave||5:00 PM||17.9||72|
|10||Orlando, FL||I-4 East||FL-528 Toll||FL-429 Toll||4:00 PM||17.4||70|
How U.S. Cities Compare to Top Cities Worldwide
At the global level, London (156 hours) topped the list of the cities most impacted by traffic congestion for the second straight year with congestion up 5% year-over-year and 5% from pre-COVID levels. Chicago was the second most congested city globally, followed by Paris (138 hours), Boston, New York, Bogota (122 hours), Toronto (118 hours), Philadelphia (114 hours), Miami (105 hours), and Palermo (121 hours). Drivers in seven of the top 10 cities spent less time in traffic in 2022 than they did pre-COVID.
Table 3: 10 Most Congested Cities in the World in 2022
|2022 Impact Rank (2021 Rank)||Urban Area||Delay per Driver
|Change from 2021||Change from 2019||Change in Downtown Speed|
|1 (1)||London, UK||156||5%||5%||-9%|
|2 (6)||Chicago, IL||155||49%||7%||-27%|
|3 (2)||Paris, France||138||-1%||-16%||0%|
|4 (18)||Boston, MA||134||72%||-10%||-27%|
|5 (5)||New York City, NY||117||15%||-16%||-15%|
|6 (8)||Bogota, Columbia||122||30%||-36%||-15%|
|7 (22)||Toronto, ON||118||59%||-13%||-29%|
|8 (13)||Philadelphia, PA||114||27%||-20%||-15%|
|9 (32)||Miami, FL||105||59%||30%||-21%|
|10 (9)||Palermo, Italy||121||11%||-12%||0%|
Access to reliable data is the first step in tackling congestion. Applying big data to create intelligent transportation systems is key to solving urban mobility problems. INRIX data and analytics on mobility, traffic signals, parking and population movement help city planners and engineers make data-based decisions to prioritize spending to maximize benefits and reduce costs now and into the future.
The key findings of the INRIX 2022 Global Traffic Scorecard provide a quantifiable benchmark for governments and cities across the world to measure progress to improve urban mobility and track the impact of spending on smart city initiatives.
Please visit www.inrix.com/scorecard for:
- Full 2022 Global Traffic Scorecard report
- Interactive webpage with data and information for more than 1,000 cities and 50 countries
- Complete methodology
Notes to Editors:
INRIX fuses anonymous data from diverse datasets – such as phones, cars, trucks and cities – that leads to robust and accurate insights. The data used in the 2022 Global Traffic Scorecard is the congested or uncongested status of every segment of road for every minute of the day, as used by millions of drivers around the world that rely on INRIX-based traffic services.
The 2022 Scorecard builds upon the methodology adopted three years ago by identifying multiple commute areas within cities, capturing each city’s own unique mobility profile. Furthermore, the 2022 Scorecard analyzes travel times, trip characteristics and the impact of incidents on congestion within a city. From this multifaceted approach, a holistic understanding is achievable in an increasingly complex landscape.
The INRIX 2022 Global Traffic Scorecard calculates time lost in congestion by employing traffic data across multiple commute sub areas within a city. Commute sub areas are identified based upon the concentration of trips concluding within a defined area. An economic analysis was performed to estimate the total cost to the average driver in a city, and a total cost to the city population. Worst corridors are limited to those that have the highest traffic volume and are ranked by the average hours of delay per driver in 2022. Additional metrics are available online and in the full report.