Mexico City claims world’s worst traffic, second year in a row

Global Business

Mexico City has claimed the crown for the most traffic congested city in the world, for the second year in a row.

Besides driver frustration and productivity loss, the problem comes with a hefty price tag, that could bring the city’s economy to a standstill.

CGTN’s Franc Contreras reports.

Mexico City claims world's worst traffic, second year in a row

Mexico City has been named as the world's most traffic congested city for the second year in a row. The annual cost of heavy traffic is estimated at $1.5 billion dollars a year, including loss of productivity, as drivers in the Mexican capital spend a whopping 66 percent extra travel time stalled out in traffic.

The TomTom Traffic Index measures time spent in traffic at congested vs. uncongested conditions.

Mexico City has the world's worst traffic

Of 390 cities in 48 countries studied, Mexico City has the most traffic congestion in the world. The TomTom Traffic Index measures time spent in traffic at congested vs. uncongested conditions. Congestion is measured by an increase in overall travel times when compared to free-flowing traffic. Drivers in the Mexican capital spend an average of 66 percent of their time stuck in traffic. And that’s anytime of the day. During peak evening hours up to 101 percent of driving time is stuck in traffic. Mexico City drivers can average 59 minutes a day and 227 hours of extra travel time per year stuck in traffic. The data comes from GPS measurements, speed measurements and traffic data bases.

Many of the Mexican capital’s avenues, boulevards and streets are relatively narrow, like they have been since the late 1500s, when Spanish Conquerors first built roads here.

Modern-day Mexico City’s traffic problem is growing.

City planners around the world said one of the best ways to reduce traffic congestion in urban centers is to reduce the number of parking spaces.

“When you reduce parking spaces or make them more expensive, you change the behavior of the driver: the driver may decide not take the car or to leave it in an area and then take mass transit, because it’s more expensive or difficult,” Bernardo Baranda from the Institute for Transportation and Development Policy Latin America said.

Mexico City mayor Miguel Mancera, who plans to run for Mexico’s presidency in 2018, said he will announce changes to building codes here later this month aimed at reducing the number of available parking spaces.

For now, the annual cost of heavy traffic is estimated at $1.5 billion dollars a year,including loss of productivity, as drivers in the Mexican capital spend a whopping 66 percent extra travel time stalled out in traffic.