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Wasted Time – The High Cost of Traffic Jams in Pittsburgh

The city ranks 25th for worst commutes in U.S.

photo by dave hallewell/hi-fi fotos


With bridges and tunnels closed in what feels like every direction, it’s no wonder Pittsburgh commuters lost 33 hours sitting in traffic last year.

Pittsburgh ranks 25th in the country for the worst traffic and 131st in the world, according to a study by the Washington-state data firm INRIX.

Using real-time GPS traffic data, INRIX found the city of Pittsburgh lost about $944 million from traffic last year -- or, $1,272 per driver. Costs were calculated using direct costs like fuel and indirect costs like lost productivity.

During peak commuting hours, about 21 percent of a Pittsburgh commute is in congestion into or out of city limits. Twenty percent of time spent driving inside the city is in traffic during peak times.

Outside of rush hour, about 11 percent of driving time is in congestion, which is on par with Washington, D.C. and Nashville, which both rank worse for commuters.

Pittsburgh places second in the state behind Philadelphia, which ranks 17th in the country. Though Philadelphians only spend about 8 percent of time driving in congestion, they lost 38 hours to traffic and $2,522 million in fuel and time.

The global study by INRIX examined 1,064 cities in 38 countries.The U.S. placed fourth globally, and on average, American drivers spent 42 hours (equal to over a full work week) in traffic during peak commuting hours last year.

Top 10 U.S. cities with worst traffic in hours

  1. Los Angeles; CA - 104
  2. New York; NY -  89
  3. San Francisco; CA -  83
  4. Atlanta; GA - 71
  5. Miami; FL - 65
  6. Washington; DC - 61
  7. Dallas; TX - 59
  8. Boston; MA - 58
  9. Chicago; IL - 57
  10. Seattle; WA - 55


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