Toronto among world’s worst cities for congestion, according to a new report

Click to play video: 'Toronto has the worst congestion in North America: report'
Toronto has the worst congestion in North America: report
WATCH: A new report has found Toronto has the worst traffic in North America and is in the top three global cities for congestion. Ahmar Khan spoke to local drivers about the revelation – Jan 11, 2024

Toronto has secured a podium finish as one of the worst cities in the world for traffic, according to a new study.

A report completed by TomTom, one of the first companies to roll out satellite navigation devices in cars, has ranked Toronto as third in the world for 10-kilometre travel times.

The traffic index study found it took an average of 29 minutes to travel 10 kilometres in Toronto last year, an increase of 50 seconds compared to the 2022 study.

The metric left Toronto only behind London, England, and Dublin for travel time.

It found Canada’s largest city had worse traffic than cities in Peru, Italy, India, the Philippines and Mexico.

Jeff Brook, an associate professor at the University of Toronto, said that “year after year” Toronto is revealed to have some of the planet’s worst commutes.

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“This is beyond just quality of life, loss of time,” he said, pointing to health impacts of stress, inactivity and air pollution.

The TomTom study found vehicles travel at an average speed of 18 km/h during rush hour, with people losing an average of 98 hours per year to congestion.

Congestion was a major theme during Toronto’s 2023 mayoral byelection, with candidates promising to improve city streets riddled with delays from housing projects, transit expansions and maintenance construction.

The eventual winner, Olivia Chow, pledged to tackle the problem by expanding cycling infrastructure and walkable communities to reduce reliance on cars. She also said she would use technology to improve traffic snarls.

Brook agrees the issue of congestion cannot be taken without the context of how people travel and their reliance on driving.

“They have to realize this is not something we think about in isolation,” he said, discussing how city hall can tackle its unwanted new award.

Global News contacted the City of Toronto for comment on the report but did not hear back in time for publication.

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