L.A. Rated the World’s Most Congested City, Again

Los Angeles has been named the world’s most congested city for the sixth straight year, according to traffic analysts Inrix Inc.

Los Angeles drivers spent an average of 102 hours stuck in traffic during peak driving hours last year, according to Inrix’s annual scorecard. That’s a slight improvement from the city’s 2016 gridlock average of 104 hours per person.

Drivers in Moscow and New York City averaged 91 hours per year in rush-hour traffic. Others in the 10 most traffic-snarled cities are Sao Paulo (86 hours), San Francisco (79), Bogota (75), London (74), Atlanta (70), Paris (69) and Miami (64).

Kirkland, Wash.-based Inrix, which was spun off from Microsoft in 2003, evaluates 2 billion data points received daily from 300 million connected vehicles and other sources of information in 1,360 cities. The study tracks vehicles driving on more than 5 million miles of road across 38 countries.

On the national level, Thailand ranks worst, with drivers spending an average of 56 hours in peak-hour congestion. Close behind are Indonesia (51 hours), Colombia (49 hours) and Venezuela (42 hours). The nearly 300 cites evaluated in the U.S. averaged 41 hours of congestion during peak hours—the worst among developed countries.

The lost time and other related costs (direct and indirect) added up to $305 billion in the U.S., which Inrix says equates to $1,445 per driver. New York fared the worst in this regard, incurring $19.2 billion in costs (nearly $3,000 per driver), according to the report.

During peak traffic hours across all cities, the average vehicle speed was less than 9 mph. Travelers in Oaxaca, Mexico, were the slowest at just 3.6 mph.

On the plus side, Inrix notes some cities are making progress to lessen traffic. Average congestion times were down at least 9% in three major metropolitan areas in Texas. The gain is credited to the opening of highway express lanes and other infrastructure improvements.​​​​​​