Study: North Texans Spending More Time Stuck In Traffic

NORTH TEXAS (CBSDFW.COM) – A new study suggests there isn’t enough being done to ensure the nation’s transportation system will be able to keep up with job growth, when the economy gets better.

According to the 2011 Urban Mobility Report, published by the Texas Transportation Institute at Texas A&M University, the average commute time is getting worse.

Texans spend an average of 34 hours stuck in traffic a year. That number is up from 14 hours in 1982.

Tim Lomax, with the Texas Transportation Institute, said there needs to be more of an investment and focus on infrastructure. “Now’s really a good time to invest in roads and bridges and busses and trains. I think the construction costs are low,” he said. “That could actually put some people back to work, as well as give us a chance to have lower traffic congestion out in the future.”

The average cost of congestion is more than $100 billion, that’s nearly $750 for every commuter. But North Texas has some of the worst commute numbers in the nation and drivers are shelling out more of their time and money.

“For the average commuter in the Dallas/Fort Worth area it means 45 extra hours of travel every year and over $900 cost for that time and extra fuel that you burn from stop and go traffic,” Lomax said.

Researchers predict that by 2015 the average commuter will experience an additional three hours of delay, annually. By the year 2020 that delay is expected to increase to seven hours.

Lomax said there are some simple solutions employers and employees could make to help the problem. “It may be just that you could work from home for a couple hours in the morning,” he suggests. “Say you’re on your computer or your phone for two or three hours in the morning and then you drive in to work or you get on the bus or the train.”

According to researchers, what was once “rush hour” has become six hours of drivers not “rushing” anywhere. “We’ve got way too many people trying to get to work on a system that just wasn’t built to handle them,” Lomax said. “We need more roads. We need more busses, more trains.”

Houston and Dallas are among the top 10 American cities with the worst commute times.

Click here to read a copy of the report, along with data tables and other supporting materials.

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  • darrell

    considering the current economic and jobs trend by 2015 there will be less commuters because even more jobs will vanish overseas or be outsourced to H1b visa holders in this country. many of the jobs infrastructure projects would create would go to illegals because the government will not enforce immigration policy or jobs requirements because it will cost them votes. so actual americans wont benifit anyway. throwing taxpayer dollars at it will only make our economic situation worse and create no real jobs.

  • jerry

    We toll road too.!!! this guy is an idiot. What need to do i have some company start there work day early or later by zip code. That will solve the traffic mess. beside the contruction everywhere, Need the government to step in and force company for help.

  • Traveler

    People will spend even longer in traffic now that the Dallas County Commissioners have CUT more than half of the positions in the Dallas Sheriff’s traffic section.

    I’ve been driving in traffic on 30 & 20 and seen the Sheriff’s department move vehicle’s that were involved in a crash over to the shoulder to allow the lanes of traffic to start flowing again.

    I have seen at least the Dallas Police keep the vehicles where the sit as well as block more lanes of traffic.

    You think you wait in traffic alot now, just wait untill next month when you’ll be waiting long do to less traffic enforcement and quick clearance of vehicle crashed.

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