Ranked in 2016 as having the worst traffic in the world, Bangkok fell to 33rd in 2019, but congestion actually got worse.
City Hall on Thursday trumpeted the lower ranking in the annual Inrix Inc. Global Traffic Scoreboard, but what they didn’t mention is that the number of hours Bangkok drivers lost sitting in traffic actually increased actually increased 34 percent from 67 hours a year in 2016 to more than 90 last year.
So how did Bangkok’s ranking improve so drastically? The rest of the world got drastically worse.
Bogota wears the 2019 crown for the world’s worst traffic with Colombian drivers losing a whopping 191 hours of their lives to traffic. Rio de Janeiro finished second only an hour behind.
For the record, Bangkok has the third worst traffic in Asia.
Inrix’s data comes from millions of GPS-enabled devices in cars in 975 cities. That data is then used to power navigation software, including Google Waze.
High congestion can be due to a variety of factors. Bangkok’s traffic is largely a result of the number of cars due to population increases and economic growth that lead to more middle-class families that can afford a car. Last year also saw a marked increase in construction of new public-transit rail lines resulting in vehicle fewer lanes and more detours.