Los Angeles Tops The Global Congestion Ranking

INRIX, Inc., a leading comapny in improving urban mobility using big data, published its latest Global Traffic Scorecard on Monday, listing Los Angeles as the world’s most congested city.

This largest traffic congestion study analyzed 1,064 cities in 38 counties and regions. Based on the findings, the United States was ranked as the most congested developed country in the world, who accounted for 11 of the top 25 congested cities.

Los Angeles ranks as the most gridlocked city in the country, with commuters spending an average of 104 hours in traffic jams during peak hours in 2016, while the average driving hours in the U.S. was 42 hours.

This result was echoed by local residents with their daily experience. Despite having nearly 30 major freeways and highways, the second largest city of the United States has four of the world’s most congested freeway segments.

“I feel like I am wasting my time doing nothing,” Julie Lin, a local resident told Xinhua. Lin used to drive to work everyday, and her normal 25-minute drive can easily span to one to two hours.

“A stable U.S. economy, continued urbanization of major cities, and factors such as employment growth and low gas prices have all contributed to increased traffic in 2016,” Bob Pishue, senior economist at INRIX, said in the study statement.

“Congestion also costs our country hundreds of billions of dollars, threatens future economic growth and lowers our quality of life,” he said.

The cost of congestion for the whole city of Los Angeles reached 9.6 billion U.S. dollars last year from direct and indirect costs, which meant each driver spent 2,408 U.S. dollars a year for fuel, wasted time and other costs, based on the study.

“Los Angeles drivers spend more time in congestion compared to anywhere else in the world due to a mixture of factors, including significant population growth, a high employment rate, high productivity and lack of alternative public transportation options,” Pishue pointed out in another statement, quoted by Los Angeles Business Journal.

INRIX’s research aimed to inspire some “long-term solutions” for urban congestion.

To encourage commuters to use public transportation, Los Angeles County voters last November approved ballot Measure M, which would raise the county’s base sales tax rate by a half-cent and was expected to generate 120 billion U.S. dollars over the first four decades of assessment.

The revenue would fund in transportation investments, including “subway, light rail and bus system improvements,” which is “the largest such increase in mass-transit investment in the country,” Forbes reported.

The progress of updating LA’s Metro system has been very slow. Six lines opened since 1990 and only two in the past decade, leaving many residents far away from any Metro station. To add to the frustration, the bus system in LA is not great either.

It takes about an hour and a half everyday to take bus to work for just 12 kilometers, a Los Angeles resident Rozette Rago said, adding the waiting time sometimes takes longer when the buses are delayed. (PNA/Xinhua) LOR/EBP

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