US cities that have the worst traffic

Boston Is Officially the Worst US City to Drive in

American commuters collectively spent 8 billion hours stuck in traffic last year, a new analysis shows.

The improving economy is partly to blame for the worsening traffic conditions, according to INRIX, a Washington-state-based company that provides transportation analytics for entities like government agencies.

The company's 2015 Traffic Scorecard, released today, explains: "Urbanization continues to drive increased congestion in many major cities worldwide. Strong economies, population growth, higher employment rates and declining gas prices have resulted in more drivers on the road — and more time wasted in traffic."

For the latest scorecard, INRIX examined traffic conditions in the United States and roughly a dozen European countries.

Congestion was worst in the U.S., with the average commuter spending nearly 50 hours in traffic over the course of the year. In Europe, Belgium saw the worst congestion, with the average commuter spending 44 hours in traffic.

At a city level, half of the 10 worst metropolitan areas for congestion — including four of the worst five — are located in the U.S.:

World cities with the most traffic
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US cities that have the worst traffic

1. London, England (101 hours of delay annually per commuter)

Photo via Getty

2. Los Angeles, CA (81 hours)

Photo via Getty

3. Washington, D.C. (75 hours)

Photo via Getty

4. San Francisco, CA (75 hours)

Photo via Getty

5. Houston, TX (74 hours)

Photo via Getty

6. New York, NY (73 hours)

Photo via Getty

7. Stuttgart, Germany (73 hours)

Photo via Getty

8. Antwerp, Belgium (71 hours)

Photo via Getty

9. Cologne, Germany (71 hours)

Photo via Getty

10. Brussels, Belgium (70 hours)

Photo via Getty


Within the U.S., the 10 worst cities for congestion last year were:

  • Los Angeles
  • Washington, D.C.
  • San Francisco
  • Houston
  • New York
  • Seattle (66 hours)
  • Boston (64 hours)
  • Chicago (60 hours)
  • Atlanta, (59 hours)
  • Honolulu (49 hours)

View the average weekly commute times across major US cities:

Average weekly work/commute times
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US cities that have the worst traffic

1. New York, NY

42.50 work, 6.18 commute, 49.08 hours total

Photo Credit: Shutterstock

2. San Francisco, CA

44.01 work, 4.57 commute, 48.58 hours total

Photo Credit: Shutterstock

3. Washington, DC

43.50 work, 4.49 commute, 48.39 hours total

Photo Credit: Saul Loeb/Getty

4. Houston, TX

43.44 work, 4.33 commute, 48.18 hours total

Photo Credit: Gavin Hellier

5. Fort Worth, TX

43.43 work, 4.18 commute, 48.01 hours total

Photo Credit: David Liu

6. Chicago, IL

42.36 work, 5.25 commute, 48.01 hours total

Photo Credit: Raymond Boyd/Getty

7. Boston, MA

 42.53 work, 4.43 commute, 47.36 hours total

Photo Credit: Bloomberg via Getty Images

8. Charlotte, NC

43.50 work, 3.45 commute, 47.35 hours total

Photo Credit: Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

9. Baltimore, MD

42.34 work, 4.51 commute, 47.25 hours total

Photo Credit: Education Images via Getty Images

10. Seattle, WA

43.17 work, 4.06 commute, 47.23 hours total

Photo Credit: Getty Images 


INRIX's findings are similar to those from an analysis by real estate data website Trulia earlier this month.

Trulia examined commute length rather than congestion delay length, but the cities it identified as having the longest commutes include many of the same cities INRIX identified has having the worst congestion delays:

  • New York City (average commute is 34.7 minutes)
  • Long Island, New York (33 minutes)
  • Washington, D.C. (32.8 minutes)
  • Newark, New Jersey (31.1 minutes)
  • Chicago, (30.8 minutes)
  • Boston (30.4 minutes)
  • Oakland, California (29.9 minutes)
  • Riverside-San Bernardino, California (29.8 minutes)
  • Baltimore, Maryland (29.4 minutes)
  • Atlanta (29.2 minutes)

How does your commute compare with the country's worst? Share your thoughts below or on Facebook.

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