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Overall, Moscow was the most congested city in 2020, but traffic fell 8% from 2019. Bengaluru was the most-congested city in the world in 2019, but it fell to sixth in 2020 with nearly a 30% of drop in traffic year-on-year.
Traffic in London and Paris was almost 20% lower than in 2019, and traffic in Madrid and Rome dropped 35% and 29%, respectively. Berlin experienced only a 6% traffic fall compared with 2019.
Traffic patterns like the daily morning commute to work – a mainstay for decades – could shift because of increased flexibility around remote work for employees, Cohn said.
“In the U.S., Canada and Mexico, if you look at peak travel patterns, the morning peak seems to have melted away,” he said. “We have never seen that before.”
Traffic congestion during rush hours last year decreased by 25% globally, said Stephanie Leonard, TomTom’s head of traffic innovation and policy.
As more people return to office following vaccine distributions, congestion levels could rise if commuters choose to avoid public transit and drive to office instead, said John Kilduff, partner at Again Capital LLC in New York. (Reporting by Stephanie Kelly in New York and Bozorgmehr Sharafed in London; Editing by Dan Grebler)