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Annual TomTom Traffic Index Looks Back on the Year that Could Change Traffic Forever: One Fifth (19%) Less Congestion Globally*

Amsterdam, The Netherlands – WEBWIRE
  • Tenth edition provides detailed insights on traffic congestion levels in 416 cities in 57 countries
  • Global congestion levels down by average 26% during rush hour. In Europe: 24%; North America: 40%; and in Asia only 11%
  • 2020 saw congestion down in 387 cities (vs. 63 in ’19), while only 13 saw an increase (vs. 239 in ’19)
  • Future traffic trends predicted by TomTom experts: an end to the rush hour and more mindful, eco-friendly travel choices as drivers change habits and employers see the benefits of flexible working
  • World’s top three most congested cities: Moscow, Russia (54%), Mumbai, India (53%) and Bogota, Colombia (53%) – full ranking and interactive report at

Location technology specialist, TomTom (TOM2), released the TomTom Traffic Index, a report detailing the traffic situation in 2020 in over 400 cities in 57 countries. Although the ranking of the world’s most congested cities has shifted very little from 2019, the big change is how far congestion levels have fallen due to the global pandemic. Out of the 416 cities included in the Index, 387 saw a significant decrease (average of 21%) in congestion, and an astonishing 28% average decrease in congestion during rush hours, bucking a trend that has seen congestion increase by an average of 2-3% year-on-year.

TomTom’s traffic data, which is powered by 600 million connected devices, is an authoritative indicator of people movement, economic activity levels, global trade, and so much more. Since the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, TomTom’s traffic insights have been used by analysts, corporations, and the media to explain a world in flux.

As well as ranking cities from the most to the least congested, the TomTom Traffic Index report provides incredible data insights into how the global pandemic changed mobility through engaging and interactive visuals.

Ralf-Peter Schäfer, TomTom’s Vice President of Traffic and Travel, said: “Last year, we announced that global congestion levels in 2019 had increased for the ninth consecutive Traffic Index. In 2020, we saw a vastly different picture. From lockdowns to closed borders, people movement changed – and it changed very fast.”

However, TomTom’s experts don’t expect the roads to stay so uncongested unless there’s a concerted and deliberate change in driver behavior, supported by policy makers and, importantly, employers. Although the global pandemic has created an opportunity to change traffic forever, will people embrace the shift in mobility and take a new path towards a cleaner, congestion-free future? For example, an end to the rush hour could even be possible through flexible working hours, working from home, and a smart approach to using traffic data to determine the best times to travel.  

Schäfer continued “Although traffic congestion was down in 2020, it’s not going to become a trend unless we take action. We might even see traffic levels shoot up again as people get back to work and back into old routines. That’s why now is the time that city planners, policy makers, employers – and drivers – must take stock of what they will do to make the roads less congested in the future.”

The ranking

  1. Moscow, Russia: 54% congestion level
  2. Mumbai, India: 53%
  3. Bogota, Colombia: 53%
  4. Manila, Philippines: 53%
  5. Istanbul, Turkey: 51%
  6. Bengaluru, India: 51%
  7. Kyiv, Ukraine: 51%
  8. New Delhi, India: 47%
  9. Novosibirsk, Russia: 45%
  10. Bangkok, Thailand, 44%

The full ranking.

Escapes from our capital cities

In 2020 we observed the mass exodus of people from capitals across Europe. The day before second lockdown was the most congested day in Athens and London in 2020. Meanwhile in Paris, traffic jams reached a record length.

Paris, 29 October, 18:00 – 142%

London, 4 November, 17:00 – 104%

Athens, 6 November, 18:00 – 123%

*Of the representative 416 cities in 57 countries that the TomTom Traffic Index features in the report

About TomTom

TomTom is the leading independent location technology specialist, shaping mobility with highly accurate maps, navigation software, real-time traffic information and services.

To achieve our vision of a safer world, free of congestion and emissions, we create innovative technologies that keep the world moving. By combining our extensive experience with leading business and technology partners, we power connected vehicles, smart mobility and, ultimately, autonomous driving.

Headquartered in Amsterdam with offices in 30 countries, TomTom’s technologies are trusted by hundreds of millions of people worldwide.

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