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These 10 Cities Have the Worst Traffic in the World

by Eben Diskin Mar 10, 2021

Everyone likes to complain that their city has the worst traffic, but somewhere out there, there’s a city that actually has the worst traffic in the world. It’s not a designation any city particularly wants, but there might be a peculiar sense of pride attached with living in one of the world’s most traffic-heavy cities. After all, if you can handle it there, you can handle it anywhere. INRIX, a private company that analyzes traffic data from around the world compiled a scorecard listing the top cities with the worst traffic in the world.

The Global Traffic Scorecard ranks cities based on:

  • Impact rank (a calculated commute based on the city’s population and delay linked to congestion)
  • The number of hours lost in congestion (during peak hours compared to free-flowing conditions)
  • Inner city last-mile speed (the speed at which a driver can expect to travel one mile into the central business district during peak hours)
  • The percentage difference in the number of hours lost to congestion compared with the previous year

The top 10 cities with the worst traffic are as follows:

  1. Bogota, Colombia
  2. Bucharest, Romania
  3. New York City, USA
  4. Moscow, Russia
  5. Philadelphia, USA
  6. Paris, France
  7. Chicago, USA
  8. Quito, Ecuador
  9. Zagreb, Croatia
  10. Cali, Colombia

It’s probably not surprising to most Americans that New York City is in the top three, but it might surprise you to learn it’s not number one. Bogota, Colombia, takes the top spot, with an average of 133 hours lost in traffic congestion and an average speed of 11 mph for the last mile. Eastern Europe might not be known for its traffic, but Bucharest, Romania, comes in second with 134 hours lost in congestion but a slightly faster last mile speed of 15 mph. New York City is number three, with 100 hours lost in traffic and a last-mile speed of 12 mph.

The United States also has the distinction of appearing on the top 10 list three times, more than any other country.

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