Typical Boston commuter spent 2.5 days in traffic last year

BOSTON MA. 02/11/13: MORNING GRIDLOCK at 11am on Storrow Drive in both directions looking towards Charles Circle. Conditions after the storm ( David L Ryan/Globe Staff Photo ) SECTION: METRO TOPIC 12snowmainphoto
David L Ryan/Globe Staff/File 2015
There was gridlock in both directions on Storrow Drive on this February morning in 2015.

The typical rush-hour commuter in the Boston area spent an estimated 57.6 hours, or nearly two-and-a-half days, sitting in traffic last year, according to the new report.

The report, by transportation analytics company INRIX Inc., said the congestion wasted time and fuel and caused businesses to charge more for goods and services, costing the typical area driver an estimated $1,760, not far off from what the average area tenant pays for a month’s rent.

The collective cost to the city for direct costs, like lost productivity and added gasoline expenses, and indirect costs, like businesses charging more for goods and services because of congestion, was an estimated $2.9 billion.


While Greater Boston’s traffic is frustrating, other drivers have it worse.

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Boston ranked as the 8th-most-gridlocked metro area in the United States, and the 18th-most-congested worldwide, during 2016, according to a study.

Los Angeles topped the international tally: the typical rush-hour driver there spent an estimated 104 hours stuck in traffic over the course of the year.

The next most-congested spots were: Moscow, Russia (91 hours); New York (89 hours); San Francisco (83 hours); and Bogotá, Colombia (80 hours).

The study looked at traffic in and around a total of 1,064 cities worldwide across 38 countries.


The United States, which had 240 metro areas considered by the study, ranked as the most-congested developed country on the planet, with the typical rush-hour driver spending 42 hours in traffic last year. The delays cost an estimated $300 billion last year, or about $1,400 per driver.

Boston’s traffic troubles were highlighted by other findings of the study:

• Rush-hour drivers in the Boston area spent about 23 percent of their commute stuck in traffic, the highest such rate in the United States.

• The report also noted that: “Freight delivery and business-related travel are slowest within Chicago and Boston. Average congested speeds during the daytime within the two cities are just 4.9 mph.”

• A section of Interstate 93 — northbound from Route 24 several miles south of Boston to Exit 16 at Southampton Street in the city — ranked as the fourth most-congested road in the country last year, the report said.


That stretch of road was slowest during the morning rush hour, with speeds averaging under 28 miles per hour. The evening average rush hour speed was also sluggish, under 44 miles per hour.

The poor souls who must drive through that corridor regularly during the morning and evening rush hours wasted an average of 72 hours stuck in traffic during 2016, the study said.

Matt Rocheleau can be reached at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter @mrochele