January 19, 2021
Business Transportation

How Covid-19 Affected America’s Rush Hour In 2020 [Infographic]

This post was originally published on this site


TomTom has released its latest Traffic Index which gauged congestion levels in 416 cities across 57 countries. This year’s edition is particularly interesting given the extent to which Covid-19 turned conventional working patterns upside down, dramatically altering global traffic patterns. TomTom reported that their findings for 2020 are unlike anything they have seen before with 387 cities experiencing a significant decrease (average of 21%) in overall congestion, as well as an astonishing 28% average decrease in congestion during rush hours. Before the pandemic struck, global traffic congestion was increasing by 2% to 3% per year on average.

Los Angeles and New York were named the most traffic-choked cities in the United States in 2020, though their congestion levels were down 15% and 11%, respectively, compared to 2019. The index also includes some interesting data showing how the pandemic affected America’s rush hour last year. Urban congestion grew 1% in the January morning rush hour compared to the same month in 2019 while it remained unchanged during the evening commute. By April, when the U.S. was buckling under a deadly wave of Covid-19, lockdowns and remote working were widely implemented and that had a huge impact on commuter traffic. That month, morning congestion was 74% lower than in April 2019 while it was 75% lower during the evening rush hour.

As of December 2020, morning rush hour congestion was still 57% lower than in 2019 while evening traffic jams were down 41%. TomTom states that the Covid-19 pandemic could change traffic forever if society embraces the shift in mobility and takes a new path towards a safer, cleaner, congestion-free future. Remote working and flexible office hours would be key in driving that transition while more mindful and eco-friendly traffic choices would cut emissions, slash reliance on fossil fuels and protect the planet for future generations to enjoy.

*Click below to enlarge (charted by Statista)

How Covid-19 Affected America's Rush Hour In 2020

Average change in urban congestion levels in 2020 compared to 2019.