TomTom’s 2020 Traffic Index Shows Impact of COVID-19

Published on January 13, 2021 in News by Guillaume Rivard

The COVID-19 pandemic had a significant impact on our roads in 2020. How significant? With lockdowns in the spring and more and more people working from home, congestion decreased in 387 large cities around the world.

That’s one of the main observations from GPS manufacturer TomTom’s 2020 Traffic Index, which covers 416 cities in 57 countries across six continents.

Once again, Moscow had the highest congestion level at 54 percent. In other words, a 30-minute trip would take 54 percent longer than during Moscow’s “baseline uncongested conditions.”

Next are Mumbai (53 percent), Bogota (53 percent), Manila (53 percent) and Istanbul (51 percent).

In North America, the most congested cities are Mexico City (29th overall with a congestion level of 36 percent), Vancouver (52nd, 30 percent), Los Angeles (85th, 27 percent), New York (102nd, 26 percent), Miami (141st, 23 percent) and Toronto (168th, 22 percent).

Things are getting better for Vancouver, though. The city was ranked 27th in 2017 (congestion level of 38 percent), 36th in 2018 (38 percent) and 40th in 2019 (39 percent).

According to TomTom, there were 58 days with “low traffic” in Vancouver during all of 2020, essentially from March 19 to May 25. The evening rush hour (congestion level of 51 percent) remains a bigger concern for drivers than the morning rush hour (39 percent). The worst time to be on the road in B.C.’s largest city is Friday between 3 pm and 4 pm.

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