Jammed up

Dallas stuck on new ranking of world's most traffic-congested cities

Dallas stuck on new ranking of world's most traffic-congested cities

Dallas highway signs with Reunion Tower
Dallas' traffic woes have us ranked among the world's 300 most congested cities. Eduardo Garcia/Getty Images

This might make your commuting headaches feel even worse: A global index ranks Dallas-Fort Worth among the world’s 300 most traffic-congested cities and among the country’s 35 most traffic-congested cities.

TomTom, a provider of navigation technology, measured traffic congestion for 2018 in 403 cities across 56 countries. The new TomTom Traffic Index puts Dallas-Fort Worth at No. 299 globally and No. 35 nationally for traffic congestion, as well as No. 3 in Texas. 

In the Metroplex, drivers spent an average of 18 percent extra travel time stuck in traffic last year, according to TomTom. The worst day in 2018 for traffic congestion in Dallas-Fort Worth: February 20 (34 percent). The best: Christmas Day (0 percent).

Traffic problems aren’t unique to DFW, of course. Austin, Houston, and San Antonio also are grappling with increased traffic as the state’s biggest metro areas continue to experience surges in population.

On the TomTom index, Austin, where people spent an extra 25 percent of travel time stuck in traffic, ranked No. 179 in the world, No. 14 in the U.S., and No. 1 in Texas. 

Houston followed at 204th in the world, 18th in the U.S., and second in Texas for travel congestion last year (23 percent).

San Antonio fared best among major Texas metro areas, placing 321st in the world, 43rd in the U.S., and No. 4 in Texas (17 percent), according to TomTom.

The TomTom Traffic Index is based on anonymized GPS data collected from navigation devices, in-dash systems, and smartphones.

“Globally, traffic congestion is rising. And that’s both good and bad news. It’s good because it indicates a strong global economy, but the flip side is drivers wasting time sitting in traffic, not to mention the huge environmental impact,” Ralf-Peter Schaefer, TomTom’s vice president of traffic information, says in a release.

According to TomTom, the most traffic-congested U.S. city in 2018 was Los Angeles, It ranked 24th globally (an average 41 percent extra travel time stuck in traffic). New York City was second in the U.S., followed by San Francisco; San Jose, California; and Seattle.

Topping the global list was Mumbai, India, where drivers spent an average 65 percent extra travel time stuck in traffic. It was followed by Bogota, Colombia (63 percent); Lima, Peru (58 percent); New Delhi, India (58 percent); and Moscow (56 percent).

Earlier this year, the INRIX 2018 Global Traffic Scorecard, an analysis of traffic congestion and mobility in more than 200 global cities, found Dallas ranked as the 122nd most traffic-congested city in the world, 21st in the U.S., and third in Texas. It’s based on data about time wasted in traffic and severity of traffic congestion.

The INRIX scorecard put Houston in 77th place globally, 13th place nationally, and first place in Texas. Austin ranked 84th in the world, 14th in the U.S., and second in Texas. San Antonio, meanwhile, came in at 163rd in the world, 60th in the U.S., and fourth in Texas.