U.S. traffic congestion cost $115B in 2009

Jan. 20, 2011 at 9:22 PM
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COLLEGE STATION, Texas, Jan. 20 (UPI) -- Traffic congestion in 2009 cost Americans an estimated $115 billion in gasoline and other expenses, up from $24 billion 28 years ago, Texas researchers said.

The cost, measured in constant 2009 dollars, was $91 billion higher than 1982's figure, the 2010 Urban Mobility Report by the Texas Transportation Institute at Texas A&M University found.

The total amount of wasted fuel in 2009 topped 3.9 billion gallons -- equal to 130 days of flow in the Trans-Alaska Pipeline System, the report said. The cost to the average U.S. commuter was $808 in 2009, compared with an inflation-adjusted $351 in 1982, the report said.

The yearly peak delay for the average commuter was 34 hours in 2009, up from 14 hours in 1982.

Without public transportation services, travelers would have faced an additional 785 million hours of delay and consumed 640 million more gallons of fuel, the report said. Public transportation saved $19 billion in congestion costs, the report said.

There was less congestion in 2008 than there had been in at least a decade, due in part to the economic downturn and high fuel prices, the report said.

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