Bengaluru: It's official. Bengaluru is the world's most traffic congested city. According to a report by TomTom, the Netherlands-based global provider of navigation, traffic and map products, India’s startup hub beat 415 other cities across 57 countries to earn the title in 2019.
“Bengaluru takes the top spot this year with drivers in the southern Indian city expecting to spend an average of 71% extra travel time stuck in traffic," TomTom said in the ninth edition of its annual Traffic Index.
The live tracking system indicated there are currently 291 traffic jams in the city, running up to 145.7 km. In 2019, a commuter spent an additional 243 hours in traffic while driving during peak hours. The report said during the time spent on roads, these people could have planted 244 trees, watched 215 episodes of Game of Thrones or watched 139 football matches.
Manila in the Philippines came a close second, with a similar average time spent by commuters in traffic.
Mumbai, Pune and New Delhi were the other Indian cities that also featured in top 10, taking fourth, fifth and eighth places respectively.
The report said Bengaluru recorded the least traffic on 6 April and the highest was on 20 August when it recorded 103% congestion.
The worst rush hours are reserved for Fridays between 7 PM and 8 PM. “Travelling after 8 PM on Friday could save you up to 5 hours per year (for a 30 minute commute)," the report said.
With never-ending construction to improve public infrastructure, Bengaluru has witnessed a steady decline in the quality of life due to dust, pollution, rapidly eroding green cover and toxic lakes among other problems.
The company said traffic congestion had increased globally in the last decade. The 239 cities that TomTom included in the new traffic index report showed increased congestion levels between 2018 and 2019, with only 63 cities witnessing a measurable decline .
“This global increase in congestion, despite being an indicator of a strong economy, is understood to cost economies billions," the report said.