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Vancouver among worst cities for rush hour traffic in North America

Here are the best and worst times to drive.
How bad is rush hour traffic in and around Vancouver? A new study ranks the city among the worst in North America.

A recent study by TomTom Traffic Index determined which cities had the worst rush hour traffic in the world and Vancouver made the list.

The ranking probably doesn't come as much of a shock to anyone who's had to cross a Metro Vancouver bridge during rush hour, especially after an accident. However, it may surprise you to find out that the study distinguishes between the city centre and suburbs and Vancouver proper came out worse than the rest of Metro Van.

Vancouver ranks 31st in the world for worst traffic while Metro Vancouver is 58th.

On average, according to TomTom, it took 22 minutes and 30 seconds to drive 10 km in the city centre during rush hour in 2022, which is up 50 seconds from 2021. Whereas, in Metro areas, it took 15 minutes and 10 seconds to move the same distance at the same time of day, up 40 seconds from last year.

The news gets worse when you look at how Vancouver stacks up against its North American counterparts. Vancouver has the 4th worst traffic in North America beaten out only by Mexico City, New York, and Toronto. Nationally, Vancouver's rush hour commutes are ranked the second-worst in all of Canada.

This study's findings also come on the heels of another that names Canadians some of the worst drivers in the world.

Data and information to help your commute

The study, now in its 12th year, covered 389 cities across 56 countries on six continents and ranked them based on average travel times. It also breaks down the financial impact of rising fuel costs and congestion due to traffic with the intention of informing fleet managers, city planners, carmakers, policymakers and drivers to help them tackle traffic-related challenges and make informed mobility decisions.

The results also include a lot of interesting information that might change how Vancouver drivers approach their commute.

The worst driving day in 2022 was reportedly December 21 when it took 27 minutes and 20 seconds to drive 10 km. Interestingly enough, that wasn't the crazy snow day. But it was the day after all the flights were cancelled.

TomTom estimates that Vancouverites spend 197 hours driving in rush hour yearly (80 of which are due to congestion), it also estimates that it emits 830kg of emissions (120kg due to congestion), and costs $633 in gas ($92 due to congestion).

There is a tool on their website that allows people to toggle between their commute distance, type of car, and city versus metro area to determine these figures for themselves.

The worst time to drive in Vancouver is apparently Thursdays between 5 and 6 p.m. but there is very little difference in traffic between the hours of 8 a.m. and 7 p.m. Monday to Friday.

The best time to drive is before 7 a.m. or after 10 p.m. on any given day.

Whose traffic ranks worst in the world?

Looking at the world ranking list, most cities' traffic increased in 2022 with very few exceptions and London, U.K. ranked worst in the world by a lot.

Second place was Bengaluru, India (29 min 10 s) and third was Dublin (28 min 30s), Ireland, but while there was only a minute or so separating their average time to drive 10 km, London was ahead by over six minutes (36 min 20 s).

The worst cities for traffic in Canada. TomTom Traffic Index
The worst cities for traffic in North America. TomTom Traffic Index
The worst cities for traffic in the world. TomTom Traffic Index


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