September 19, 2007

Traffic congestion wastes US$78 billion and 2.9 billion gallons of fuel, study says

College Station, Texas – A new report by the Texas Transportation Institute suggests that traffic congestion continues to worsen in U.S. cities of all sizes, creating a US$78 billion drain each year on the U.S. economy, in the form of 4.2 billion lost hours and 2.9 billion gallons of wasted fuel.

The 2007 Urban Mobility Report is based on 2005 figures, the most recent year for which complete data was available.

“There is no ‘magic’ technology or solution on the horizon because there is no single cause of congestion,” says Tim Lomas, a research engineer at the Institute and co-author of the study. “The good news is that there are multiple strategies involving traffic operations and public transit available right now that if applied together can lessen this problem.”

The report notes that congestion causes the average peak-period driver to spend an extra 38 hours of travel time and consume an additional 26 gallons of fuel, amounting to a cost of US$710 per traveler.

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