Global traffic congestion up, but UAE’s two main cities compare well, according to report from TomTom

Published: 4 February 2020 - 9 p.m.
By: PMV Staff

The UAE has improved its congestion rankings this year, according to the report from TomTom, a location technology specialist.

Dubai ranked 265th globally, with a congestion level of 21 percent – a decrease of two percent compared to 2018. Abu Dhabi ranked 410th globally with a congestion level of 10 percent, a one percent decrease from 2018.

Bengaluru is the most congested city in the world, according to the report. Drivers in the southern Indian city expect to spend an average of 71 percent extra travel time stuck in traffic, said the 9th TomTom Traffic Index – a study detailing traffic statistics in 416 cities.

Second in the global rankings is Manila, Philippines (71 percent); followed by Bogota, Colombia (68 percent; last year’s most congested city, Mumbai, India (65 percent), and Pune, India (59 percent); making up the top five most congested cities in the world.

Greater Moscow (Oblast) takes the lead in Europe (59 percent) with Istanbul (55 percent) coming a close second.

In the US, the top five most congested cities are Los Angeles (42 percent), New York (37 percent), San Francisco (36 percent), San Jose (33 percent) and Seattle (31 percent).

Global congestion concerns

A global increase in congestion, despite being an indicator of strong economies, is understood to cost economies billions.

Ralf-Peter Schäfer, TomTom’s VP of traffic information, said: “Globally, there’s a long road to travel until congestion levels are brought under control. In time, the rise of autonomous vehicles and car-sharing services will help alleviate congestion, but planners and policymakers can’t afford to sit and wait.

“They need to use all the tools available to them to analyse traffic levels and impacts, so they can make critical infrastructure decisions. And drivers have a role to play too. Small changes in driving behaviours can make a huge difference.”

Thomas Edelmann, managing director of RoadSafetyUAE, commented: “In order to further improve road safety in the UAE, we need a better understanding via better data. TomTom sets a great example by including the two main UAE cities in their global survey.”

Edelmann added: “Traffic congestion is of key importance for road safety, because when motorists get caught in congestion, we see a lot of impolite and dangerous behavior. From our own studies we observe, that UAE’s motorists give a lot of credit to the UAE authorities for continuously improving the road infrastructure.”

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