Average Toronto commuter loses 84 hours a year in traffic: study

Traffic congestion on Yonge St south of Sheppard in Toronto.
Traffic congestion on Yonge St south of Sheppard in Toronto. Ron Bull/Toronto Star via Getty Images

TORONTO – Traffic congestion levels are rising in Toronto and it will continue to go up due in part to the traditional work week, according to a study by Dutch navigation company TomTom.

The 5th annual Traffic Index indicates Toronto’s traffic congestion level has increased by 4 per cent from 27 per cent in 2013 to 31 per cent in 2014 — ranking second in Canada behind Vancouver with an overall level of 35 per cent.

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The study, which compares congestion in over 200 cities worldwide, shows the average commuter loses 84 hours a year being delayed in traffic.

TomTom says part of the blame is due to the traditional work week, “giving people no choice but to all be on the road network at the exact same time.”

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The navigation company suggests companies should be adopting more flexible schedules so commuters can save travel time during rush hour.

A comparison of the weekday rush hour commute data in Toronto indicates morning congestion levels are fairly consistent from Monday to Friday but the evening levels tend to rise on Tuesday through Thursday before dropping off on Friday.

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Meanwhile, the average evening rush hour congestion rate in Canada is 57 per cent, up from the average 27 per cent.

Overall Congestion Level of Canadian Cities in 2014

  1. Vancouver — 35 per cent
  2. Toronto — 31 per cent
  3. Ottawa — 28 per cent
  4. Montreal — 27 per cent
  5. Edmonton — 23 per cent
  6. Quebec — 23 per cent
  7. Calgary — 22 per cent

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