CHICAGO — It’s not Los Angeles or New York City that has people stuck in traffic the longest. Turns out, the Windy City takes the cake.
According to the analytics firm Inrix, the average Chicago driver lost 155 hours sitting in traffic in 2022, up from 104 hours in 2021, and marking the second year in a row that Chicago nabbed the top spot in the United States.
In fact, the only city more congested around the world is London, who just outpaced Chicago with their average driver being stuck in traffic for 156 hours in 2022.
“It’s pretty congested,” said Frank Nicholas, a delivery driver who’s travelled across the Midwest for more than 20 years. “I used to be able to get down [from Montgomery] in about an hour on the Eisenhower, but now the Eisenhower is so jammed it takes me almost two hours to get down here.”
The report points to fewer people choosing public transportation as one of the reasons there’s more congestion. Average weekday ridership on CTA buses and trains in October was only at 56% of the amount it was in 2019, and Metra weekday ridership for November was at 44% of pre-pandemic levels.
“An hour and a half each way,” said Jackson Pearce, a daily commuter to Chicago. “Honestly on the way home, sometimes its two hours.”
Some drivers believe there has been relief to traffic problems already after the completion of the 9-year improvement project on the Jane Byrne Interchange.
“I think it has improved tremendously since the Jane Byrne has been open in the last week,” said Sheila, a local commuter.
To learn more about the most congested cities around the United States and the rest of the world, you can visit Inrix’s website here.