Best World Cities for Getting Around

Great article from New Geography.

An excerpt.

The 2015 Tom Tom Traffic Index shows that Dallas-Fort Worth has the least overall congestion among world (urban areas) with more than 5,000,000 population. The Tom Tom Traffic Index for Dallas-Fort Worth is 17, which means that, on average, it takes 17 percent longer to travel in the urban area because of traffic congestion.

The Tom Tom Traffic Index rates traffic congestion in nearly 300 world cities. This article examines overall traffic congestion levels in two categories of cities, those with more than 5,000,000 population and those with between 1,000,000 and 5,000,000 population.

Over 5,000,000 Population

Tom Tom rated traffic congestion in 38 urban areas with more than 5,000,000 population. Five of the 10 least congested cities are in the United States, including five of the top seven. China placed two cities in the top 10 (Figure 1).

With its Tom Tom Traffic Index of 17, Dallas-Fort Worth was far ahead of Philadelphia and Madrid, which tied for second at 23. This gap of six points is the largest among the 38 cities except for the seven that separate number 36 Istanbul and number 37 Bangkok.

Atlanta ranked fourth, with a Traffic Index of 24, followed by Houston at 25. Suzhou achieved China’s best traffic congestion, with a Traffic Index of 26 and was tied for sixth best with Chicago. There was a three way tie for eighth.

Because of a four way tie for 10th place, the bottom 10 in traffic congestion among the more than 5 million population included 13 cities (Figure 2). The greatest traffic congestion was in Mexico City, with a Travel Index of 59. This means that a 30 minute trip can generally be expected to take 48 minutes, 18 minutes more than without congestion. Bangkok, which is often suggested as one of the most congested cities in the world, ranked second worst with a Traffic Index of 57.

Rio de Janeiro had the fifth worst traffic congestion with a Traffic Index of 47, while Moscow’s legendary traffic congestion rated a 44. Los Angeles, long the most congested city in the United States, had a Traffic Index of 41, and ranked seventh worst. Chengdu in China tied Los Angeles. The eighth and ninth most congested cities were St. Petersburg, at 40 and Tianjin at 39. London and three cities in China, Beijing, Chongqing, and Hangzhou tied for 10th worst traffic, at 38.

About David H Lukenbill

I am a native of Sacramento, as are my wife and daughter. I am a consultant to nonprofit organizations, and have a Bachelor of Science degree in Organizational Behavior and a Master of Public Administration degree, both from the University of San Francisco. We live along the American River with two cats and all the wild critters we can feed. I am the founding president of the American River Parkway Preservation Society and currently serve as the CFO and Senior Policy Director. I also volunteer as the President of The Lampstand Foundation, a nonprofit organization I founded in 2003.
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