Inrix

NYC Ranks as the City With Worst Traffic Congestion in the U.S., Study Finds

The Big Apple tops the list of most congested cities in the United States, with 102 lost hours in traffic in 2021

NBC Universal, Inc.

A new report found that New York City is the most congested city in the U.S.

What to Know

  • According to the analysis, overall, in the U.S., drivers lost an average of 36 hours due to congestion, up from 26 hours last year but down from 99 hours in 2019.
  • The Big Apple tops the list of most congested cities in the United States, with 102 lost hours in traffic in 2021.
  • On a worldwide scale, New York City places fifth among the most congested cities, with London (148 hours) leading the ranking, followed by Paris (140 hours), Brussels (134 hours), and Moscow (108 hours).

Although traffic congestion around the U.S. seems to be picking back up, it still remains below the levels seen before the start of the pandemic, according to a new analysis by Inrix -- a study that also found that the Big Apple tops the list of most congested cities in the country, with 102 lost hours in traffic in 2021.

According to the analysis, overall, in the U.S., drivers lost an average of 36 hours due to congestion, up from 26 hours last year but down from 99 hours in 2019.

On a worldwide scale, New York City places fifth among the most congested cities, with London (148 hours) leading the ranking, followed by Paris (140 hours), Brussels (134 hours), and Moscow (108 hours). These cities comprise the Top 5 most congested cities in the world by Impact Rank, despite traffic congestion ranging from -27% to 0% below pre-COVID levels.

Additionally, like most years, according to the analysis, New York’s Brooklyn Queens
Expressway, better known as the BQE took second place as the worst corridor in the United States.

Additionally, the study points to the fact that not only was traveling on the roads impacted during the pandemic, but overall public transportation also saw ramifications from the global health crisis.

"Local public transportation use was also down considerably throughout 2021. New York City’s Metropolitan Transit Authority saw ridership fall 54% on all transit services through August 2021 versus the same time in 2019," according to Inrix's analysis.

Furthermore, the analysis found that another notable change to commutes -- beside the reduced travel times and volumes -- was was the lack of travel to downtowns, also known as “Central Business Districts.” These areas house a significant portion of a
region’s jobs. For example, in the New York Metro Area, 20.2% of jobs are located downtown. The lack of travel to these areas has to do with more people working remotely since the start of the pandemic.

NEW YORK CITY RANKINGS

#1Most congested city in United States
#5Most congested city in the world
102hrsHours lost in congestion
$1594.75Cost of congestion per driver
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