Vancouver home to worst gridlock in Canada, traffic study finds
Angela Mulholland, CTVNews.ca
Published Tuesday, June 3, 2014 7:09AM EDT
Last Updated Tuesday, June 3, 2014 9:00PM EDT
If you’ve ever sat in bumper-to-bumper traffic, clenching your teeth and cursing the gridlock, you might be convinced your city has the worst traffic in the country. But unless you live in Vancouver, you haven’t got it as bad as some.
A new study by GPS products maker TomTom finds that Vancouver has the worst traffic in the country. It’s also No. 5 on the list of most traffic-congested cities in U.S., Canada, Mexico and Brazil.
There, the average commuter experiences 87 hours of delay time a year, based on a 30-minute daily commute. That’s more than three entire days spent inching along in stop-and-go traffic, every year.
Vancouver has a congestion percentage of 35; that means that it takes 35 per cent longer to get from Point A to B in peak traffic times than it does during non-congested periods.
Drivers in Toronto don’t have it much better. The average commuter there deals with 83 hours of traffic delays every year, and a congestion percentage of 27.
In order, the worst congested cities in Canada are:
- Vancouver – 35 per cent; 87-hour delay per year
- Toronto – 27 per cent; 83-hour delay per year
- Ottawa – 26 per cent; 81-hour delay per year
- Montreal – 26 per cent; 78-hour delay per year
- Calgary – 22 per cent; 71-hour delay per year
- Quebec – 22 per cent; 81-hour delay per year
- Edmonton – 20 per cent; 57-hour delay per year
TomTom’s annual Traffic Index measures traffic congestion by taking GPS data of TomTom users and comparing travel times during non-congested hours with travel times in peak hours, taking into account both local roads and highways.
Jocelyn Vigreux, the president of TomTom North America, says the company is able to paint an accurate picture of traffic in Canadian cities by using GPS data.
“We’ve been collecting driver data since 2007 and now have the world’s largest database of actual measured speeds on the road network using something like 10 trillion data points,” he told CTV’s Canada AM from Vancouver.
Another interesting finding from the study: shortcuts don’t work.
TomTom’s study found avoiding highways and using secondary roads is usually a waste of time, typically adding 50 per cent more travel time to journeys.
And if you want to know which city has the worst traffic in the world, that dubious honour goes to Moscow – although the TomTom study excludes all of Asia and most of Africa (except South Africa). The Russian capital has a congestion percentage of 74. Istanbul is not far behind with a congestion percentage of 62.