Vancouver Most Congested City in North America

Dec 19 2017, 4:45 pm

TomTom today released the sixth edition of its TomTom Traffic Index, the world’s most accurate barometer of traffic congestion in 169 cities across six continents. Vancouver has surpassed Los Angeles for the first time ever, ranking as the most congested city in North America and third in the TomTom Traffic Index Americas report.


Toronto ranks as the seventh most congested city in North America and ninth on the Americas report. Montreal ranks as the tenth most congested city in North America and twelfth on the Americas report. The full Americas report can be viewed today at

The TomTom Traffic Index compares travel times during non-congested hours (free flow) with travel times in peak hours. Based on these comparisons, TomTom Traffic Index reports that the top ten most congested North American cities, ranked by overall Traffic Level, in Q2 2013 were:

 Traffic Congestion 2013 Index

  1. Vancouver, Canada
  2. Los Angeles, USA
  3. San Francisco, USA
  4. Honolulu, USA
  5. Seattle, USA
  6. San Jose, USA
  7. Toronto, Canada
  8. Washington, USA
  9. New York, USA
  10. Montreal, Canada

A few additional Vancouver facts and figures from the index:

  • Delay per year for a commuter with a 30 minute commute: 93 hours (or 11.6 working days)
  • Delay per hour driven in peak period: 41 minutes
  • Monday continues to be the best traffic days with lowest congestion figures
  • Tuesday mornings and Thursday evenings are the worst peak periods of the week
  • June 20, 2013 was the most congested day in Q2 for Vancouver.

In Vancouver, this means that an average journey time is 36 per cent longer than when traffic in the city is flowing freely. Vancouver’s congestion has increased 2.8 per cent in comparison to the index’s 2012 Q2 findings when the congestion rate was 32.7 per cent. Toronto placed seventh for North America (27 per cent congestion) and Montreal placed tenth (25 per cent).

TomTom estimates that eight work days (64 hours) are lost worldwide to traffic congestion. Canadian cities have a maximum average loss of 11.6 work days (93 hours) based on Vancouver.

“Deep research into traffic is a natural byproduct of TomTom’s work, since we deliver products that help drivers avoid traffic and delays,” said TomTom’s Head of Global Traffic Research, Nick Cohn.  “It will be interesting to see how cities and drivers react to our findings.  In the meantime, our research helps keep a pulse on the shifts in traffic patterns, as we work to find new ways to tackle congestion.”

The TomTom Traffic Index takes into account local roads and highways, going well beyond research and other studies that only evaluate traffic on main highways, or are subjective surveys of people’s perception of traffic congestion.  The Traffic Index is based on detailed knowledge of the global road network and aims to help drivers, businesses and governments manage traffic congestion effectively. TomTom is the only company able to provide the depth of data based on the number of sensors supplying accurate information from around the world.

“The findings from the Traffic Index also show that real-time traffic information has the potential to ease congestion in urban areas by routing drivers away from gridlock, and help commuters to make smarter decisions,” said TomTom’s Chief Executive Officer, Harold Goddijn. “The way traffic is managed needs significant change.”

TomTom’s complete Traffic Index, including individual city reports, can be found at This report was previously called the Congestion Index – Archives can be found at Separate Europe, North America, Australia/New Zealand and South Africa Traffic Index reports are available.

Image : Rajdeep Matharu / Shutterstock

DH Vancouver StaffDH Vancouver Staff

+ News