Traffic is actually more detrimental to our wallets than our patience, a new study shows. In 2013, traffic congestion robbed the US economy of $124 billion. Without significant action to alleviate congestion, this cost is expected to increase 50 percent to $186 billion by 2030. The cumulative cost over the 17-year period is projected to be $2.8 trillion – the same amount Americans collectively paid in US taxes last year.
The new report by the Centre for Economics and Business Research (Cebr) and INRIX, Inc., a provider of real-time traffic information, transportation analytics and connected driver services, is the first of its kind to quantify the direct impact on drivers in terms of wasted time and fuel as well as indirect costs to US households resulting from businesses passing these same costs on to consumers in the form of higher prices for goods and services.
“The report reveals an ominous forecast for the US if traffic continues to impede the flow of people and commerce to the degree is does today,” said Kevin Foreman, INRIX General Manager of GeoAnalytics. “As the economy grows and more people live in urban areas, greater demand is placed on our roads. Until we evolve our approach to how we manage our transportation networks, the individual and societal costs are only going to get worse.”
INRIX, which collects real-time data from drivers and devices across four million miles of road in 40 countries, works with leading automakers – such as Ford, Toyota and BMW – and 40 state transportation departments to harness insights that inform intelligent transportation solutions. This INRIX data enables city and state governments to make smarter investment choices in road and transit improvements, informs transportation policy, and powers smart cities applications, including:
Multi-modal navigation services that inform consumers of the fastest mode of transportation to their destination and provide drivers with the ability to navigate the next closest bus or train departure to their destination when traffic or other delays prevent them from completing their trip by car on time
Navigation services that help cities direct drivers to the closest available parking to their destination, least expensive gas station or available EV charging location quickly and safely.
Broad adoption of real-time analytics services at the city level that communicate with in-car and smartphone navigation applications, intelligently route vehicles using all available roads and advanced signal timing systems that reduce delays and resulting emissions from stop and go driving.