As workplaces shut down and laid off employees or had them telework during the COVID-19 pandemic, traffic delays dropped to levels not seen since 1997. In 2019, commuters in only five urban areas in the country had less than 30 hours of extra annual driving time. Last year, commuters in 73 urban areas spent that little extra time in traffic, a benchmark that had not been reached since 1992.
The New York City-Newark, New Jersey-Connecticut metro region, which the report named the most congested urban area in the country last year, saw its total annual commuter delay hours fall 42% between 2019 and 2020, to 494,268 for the year. This surpassed the 365,543 delay hours accumulated in the Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, California, region. The densely populated region in Southern California was the most congested in 2019 but saw its delay hours fall 62% in 2020.
+INFO: Smart Cities Dive