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TomTom Traffic Index Shows the Worst, Best Cities for Traffic in the U.S. and Around the World

Nov 06 2013

TomTom Traffic Index Shows the Worst, Best Cities for Traffic in the U.S. and Around the World

Los Angeles, San Francisco, Honolulu remain most congested cities in the U.S.;

Drivers Lose An Average of 8 Working Days Per Year Due to Traffic Congestion


Concord, Mass., November 6, 2013– TomTom today released the sixth edition of its TomTom Traffic Index, the world’s most accurate barometer of traffic congestion in 169 cities across six continents. The full report and country/city data can be viewed today at

In the U.S., the report examines traffic in 53 metropolitan areas with a population of more than 800,000, and found that Los Angeles continues to be the most congested city in the U.S., with traffic at an all-time high since the study’s inception. TomTom estimates that 8 work days (64 hours) are lost worldwide to traffic congestion. U.S. cities have a max. average loss (based on Los Angeles) of 92 hours, or 11.5 days.

The TomTom Traffic Index compares travel times during non-congested hours (free flow) with travel times in peak hours. Based on these comparisons, TomTom Traffic Index reports that the top ten most congested U.S. cities, ranked by overall Traffic Level, in Q2 2013 were:

1.  Los Angeles: Traffic increased two percent to its highest levels seen in last six years

2. San Francisco: Moved up from third place in Q1

3. Honolulu: Moved down from second place in Q1

4. Seattle: Ranking remained the same.

5. San Jose: Ranking remained the same

6. Washington, DC: Ranking remained the same

7. New York: New to the Top 10 in 2013; up from #11

8. Portland: New to the Top 10 in 2013; up from #12

9. Boston: New to the Top 10 in 2013; up from #21.

10. Chicago


Other notable findings include:

  • West coast cities dominate list with five rankings in the top 10 (not including Honolulu)
  • San Francisco’s busiest day – Saturday, April 20 – coincides with the city’s “420” marijuana holiday and accompanying festival and concert in Golden Gate Park
  • Phoenix is the least congested large metropolis
  • Indianapolis has the least congestion of cities included in the study (800,000 people or higher)
  • New Orleans falls from #7 to #16
  • Tampa falls from #9 to #12
  • This edition of the TomTom Traffic Index also reveals that severe weather was a significant cause behind some of the busiest traffic days across the U.S.


“Deep research into traffic is a natural byproduct of TomTom’s work, since we deliver products that help drivers avoid traffic and delays,” said TomTom’s Head of Global Traffic Research, Nick Cohn.  “It will be interesting to see how cities and drivers react to our findings.  In the meantime, our research helps keep a pulse on the shifts in traffic patterns, as we work to find new ways to tackle congestion.”

The TomTom Traffic Index takes into account local roads and highways, going well beyond research and other studies that only evaluate traffic on main highways, or are subjective surveys of people’s perception of traffic congestion. The Traffic Index is based on detailed knowledge of the global road network and aims to help drivers, businesses and governments manage traffic congestion effectively. TomTom is the only company able to provide the depth of data based on the number of sensors supplying accurate information from around the world.

“The findings from the Traffic Index also show that real-time traffic information has the potential to ease congestion in urban areas by routing drivers away from gridlock, and help commuters to make smarter decisions,” said TomTom's Chief Executive Officer, Harold Goddijn. “The way traffic is managed needs significant change.”

TomTom’s complete Traffic Index, including individual city reports, can be found at This report was previously called the Congestion Index – Archives can be found at Separate Europe, Americas, Australia/New Zealand and South Africa Traffic Index reports are available.

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