Bogotá tops TomTom’s global ranking for “worst traffic”

Bogotá traffic. Photo: Creative Commons

Bogotanos spend more time in traffic than the inhabitants of 390 major urban centers in 56 countries reveals the recently released TomTom Traffic Index. The Amsterdam-based specialist in geolocation technologies has ranked the Colombian capital as the worst city globally for sitting behind the wheel – with 244 hours lost per year in gridlock. Greater Manila (Philippines) comes in second with 224 hours lost per year, and in Sapporo (Japan) drivers spent 210 hours in traffic.

The 244 hours per year amounts to the equivalent of 10 days and 4 hours, and time spent to read an average of 49 books in a year. The 2022 study also shows that Bogotanos added an extra 16 hours and 58 minutes over the course of a year to a commute, compared to 2021.

Wednesdays, between 6pm and 7pm, is the worst time to drive in Bogotá as an average 10 km commute takes 37 minutes. The worst day last year was December 21 when the average time to travel 10 km took 31 minutes and 30 seconds.

Given Bogotá’s average rush hour speed of 19 km/per hour, the Colombian capital may have clinched the top ranking for “worst traffic”, but India’s mega city, Mumbai, isn’t that much faster (23 km), nor is Bucharest (Romania) with 22 km. In fact, for Londoners, the average rush hour speed in the City is 14 km, and the time to travel 10 km is 36 minutes and 20 seconds. The fastest city in the world to move around in is Greensboro (USA) where the average rush hour speed is 74 km, and where North Carolina residents only spent 61 hours per year in traffic.

Each city’s ranking is divided into the sections City Center and Metropolitan Area. Edition 12 of the TomTom Traffic Index highlights that in Bogotá congestion during rush hour increased a petrol car’s CO2 emission by 41%, and that the average cost of driving globally increased 27% given inflation and increase in energy prices. “With fuel prices hitting the roof, Hong Kong became the costliest city to drive in, with US$1023 spent by a driver commuting every day at rush hour,” states the Index.

As populations continue to grow, the strain on transportation infrastructure results in frustrating commutes and wasted hours on the road. From Asia to South America cities must grapple with the challenges of excessive vehicles, inadequate road systems, and post-pandemic accelerated urbanization.

In the case of Bogotá, construction of the First Line of the Bogotá Metro, and some 130 large-scale uncompleted public work by the Mayoralty of Claudia López means that the only place residents will be moving fast to this year are polling booths when a new mayor is elected on October 29 and – hopefully – someone who ends improvisation to the city’s transportation infrastructure.

Explore TomTom’s 2022 Traffic index online at: