Congestion costs the U.S. $100 billion a year

| 9/27/2011

The cumulative effects of being stuck in traffic are only going to get worse once the economy recovers, the authors of the latest mobility report by the Texas Transportation Institute say.

The institute released the 2011 Urban Mobility Report on Tuesday, Sept. 27. It shows the average commuter spends 34 hours per year stuck in traffic, up from 14 hours in 1982. The cost of that congestion amounts to $100 billion per year, or $750 for every commuter.

And as the economy recovers, the cost of congestion could jump to $133 billion a year right along with it. Researchers estimate that enough fuel will be wasted in 2015 to fill 275,000 tanker trucks.

Research Engineer William Eisele, a co-author of the report, says the $100 billion accounts only for people’s time and fuel wasted when dealing with congestion.

“That does not include any missed opportunities, missed meetings or secondary opportunities,” Eisele told Land Line Now on Sirius XM.

The study suggests that too little progress is being made for a long-term solution.

“I think it’s a bit of a wakeup call that the time is now for us to act on these things and create some mobility improvements, particularly in these large congestion locations, whether it be in improvements to roads, buses or trains or how we operate our system,” Eisele said.

Click here to check out the report.

Land Line Now Staff Reporter Reed Black contributed to this report.