Traffic study Traffic jams cause costs in the billions

Wo liegt die staureichste Stadt Deutschlands?
Traffic jams cost time - and also money.

The traffic situation in German cities hardly improved at all last year. On average, German motorists spend more than 46 hours in traffic jams. These are the results of the Global Traffic Scorecard of the traffic information provider Inrix.

Drivers in Munich are making the most strenuous progress - last year they lost an average of 87 hours in traffic jams. Berlin follows in second and third place with 66 and Düsseldorf with 50 hours of traffic jams.

The heavy traffic jams also have a financial impact. In Munich alone, the loss of time in 2019 will result in costs of 774 euros per motorist, or up to 405 million euros per year. In Berlin, the amount was 587 euros per driver, in Düsseldorf it was still 445 euros. In the cities studied in Germany, this resulted in cumulative traffic jam costs of 2.8 billion euros last year.

Is the bicycle or public transport worthwhile compared to the car?

The Traffic Scorecard examines the traffic volume of German cities and is now even more meaningful thanks to an adapted methodology. Whereas in the previous year the focus was exclusively on routes to city centres, Inrix has identified the routes most heavily used by commuters for the new scorecard - even beyond the city centre. This means that significantly more routes than before were included in the calculations. In addition, the current scorecard for the first time provides information on the extent to which it is worthwhile for motorists to use their bicycles or local public transport as a car substitute on the relevant routes.

The time lost by bicycle is lowest in Munich and Berlin, where cyclists only need a maximum of 50% more travel time than motorists on the routes studied on a daily average. In most other cities, car drivers are still significantly faster than cyclists, but here too the time loss is not very high, with 50 to 100% more travel time. On the whole, however, buses and trains as an alternative for commuters on routes heavily used by car drivers perform significantly worse than the bicycle: In seven of the top 10 congested cities, more than twice as much travel time is required. However, it should be noted that the study focuses on the routes most frequently travelled by car drivers. On the other hand, routes where cyclists or public transport are likely to be considerably faster are of little or no importance.

»The results make it clear that cities must continue to work hard to drive forward the change in the mobility landscape and optimize traffic flow - especially against the background that most metropolises continue to grow rapidly,« emphasizes Trevor Reed, Transportation Analyst at Inrix.