Traffic congestion cost American drivers nearly $300 billion last year — for an average of $1,399 per driver — according to the INRIX Global Traffic Scorecard. Released last month, the Scorecard also found that the United States ranked as the first most congested developed country in the world. Drivers in the U.S. spend an average of 42 hours a year in traffic jams during peak hours.
INRIX’s Scorecard analyzes and ranks the impact of traffic congestion in 1,064 cities (240 in the United States) across 38 countries worldwide. It is the largest study of traffic congestion ever conducted.
All of the ten most congested cities were in the U.S., with Los Angeles ranking first. Los Angeles commuters spent an average of 104 hours in traffic jams during peak congestion hours last year. This contributed to congestion costing drivers in Los Angeles $2,408 each and the city as a whole $9.6 billion from direct and indirect costs.
Direct costs relate to the value of fuel and time wasted. Indirect costs refer to increased freight and other business costs from company vehicles that are passed on to households through higher prices.
“A stable U.S. economy, continued urbanization of major cities, and factors such as employment growth and low gas prices have all contributed to increased traffic in 2016. Congestion also costs our country hundreds of billions of dollars, threatens future economic growth and lowers our quality of life. Traffic truly is a double-edged sword,” said Bob Pishue, senior economist at INRIX.
INRIX is a world leader in transportation analytics and connected car services.
(photo from inrix.com, the hill.com)
Maven Adds Electric Bolt In LA
General Motors is adding more than 100 Chevrolet Bolt EV electric cars to its Maven City car-sharing service in Los Angeles.
Maven customers will use a phone-based app to rent Bolts and other GM vehicles for short-term and weekly use. Also, Lyft drivers can avoid paying for maintenance and insurance by using Maven. Finally, residents of certain high-end apartments can use Maven cars as a benefit provided by building owners.
The Chevrolet Bolt EV offers the ability to drive roughly 238 miles on a single charge, making it one of the few viable electric options. Maven will provide users with access to free charging.
During its first 13 months of operation, Maven has signed up more than 24,000 members. The service is available in 17 cities throughout the U.S. and Canada, including Ann Arbor, Boston, Chicago, Detroit, New York, San Francisco and Washington, D.C.
Maven plans to also offer the Bolt EV in San Francisco and San Diego.
(maven.com, greencarreports.com, latimes.com, outdonews.com, fastcompany.com, autorentalnews.com, photo by Steve Fecht, courtesy of General Motors)
Toronto Weed Ads Spark Controversy
The Toronto Transit Commission generated a bit of controversy with a set of ads for an app called WeedMaps on busses and subways. Some question whether the transit agency should advertise marijuana dispensaries as police attempt to crack down on illegal pot shops in the city.
The ads rolled out in mid-February for 24 weeks. They feature the locations of local marijuana dispensaries superimposed on a map of Toronto.
The WeedMaps website says the app offers “the most complete and accurate set of listings in all legal jurisdictions worldwide.” The app also features delivery services, prescribing doctors and deals available in the city.
TTC consulted with the Advertising Standards Council of Canada before determining that it met the necessary standard.
“Medical marijuana is legal in Canada. Under certain circumstances people can use it, so that was taken into account in our decision,” said TTC spokesperson Stuart Green.
(ttc.ca, indie88.com, cbc.ca, photo by James Wattie/CBC)
BWAT Route 1
Blue Water Area Transit Route 1 buses start at the agency’s downtown transit center and then stop at Electric & 16th Street, 28th Street & N. Blvd, and 24th Street & Griswold. Buses will stop to pick up riders who hail them anywhere along the route.
Points of interest along the route include Downtown Port Huron, St Clair County Community College, Seaway Terminal, Lake Huron Hospital, Guadalupe Center, and Port Huron High School.
Jim Wilson, General Manager