Commuting costs Americans both time and money. Indeed, in 2019 the average American spent 99 hours and lost $1,377 sitting in traffic jams, according to the 2019 Global Traffic Scorecard from INRIX, a provider of transportation analytics.
INRIX’s scorecard measures congestion and mobility trends in 900 cities across 43 countries, and found that between 2017 and 2019, Americans saw their annual commute times rise by two hours.
The worst U.S. city for traffic was Boston, where residents lost an average 149 hours due to congested roads, equal to more than six days. Boston was America’s most congested city for the second year in a row, with Chicago (145 hours), Philadelphia (142 hours), New York City (140 hours) and Washington D.C. (124 hours) close behind.
Los Angeles City was ranked as the sixth-worst city for traffic in the U.S., and it also has the most-trafficked corridors in the nation, with drivers on the US-101 and I-5 spending 80 hours and 76 hours respectively on the roads during peak hours of congestion.
In some parts of Philadelphia, Washington, D.C., and San Francisco, researchers found that commuters could be better off riding a bike than driving or taking a bus during rush hours.
“Congestion costs Americans billions of dollars each year,” says Trevor Reed, transportation analyst at INRIX.
However, that’s not the case in Wichita, Kan. For the second year in a row, Wichita had the lowest congestion in the U.S. Drivers there lose less than two hours a year commuting, the report shows.