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$9Billion Price Tag for Traffic Congestion in US

ARLINGTON, VA — Congestion on U.S. Interstate highways added over $9.2 billion in operational costs to the trucking industry in 2013, according to research released by the American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI).

ATRI, the non-profit research arm of the American Trucking Associations, used motor carriers’ financial data and anonymous truck GPS data points to calculate congestion delays and their cost burden on trucking companies.

They found delays made up more than 141 million hours of lost productivity – or about 51,000 truck drivers sitting idle for an entire working year.

“This concentration of congestion has been well-documented in previous work by ATRI which identified the worst truck bottlenecks in the U.S,” the group said in a release. “Of the 100 worst bottlenecks in ATRI’s 2013 bottleneck analysis, 98 were identified as having “severe” congestion in this cost of congestion analysis.”

The worst places for operational expenses caused by congestion were California, with over $1.7 billion in costs, Texas with over $1 billion, the Los Angeles metropolitan area with $1.1 billion and New York City with $984 million.  

Congestion was most severe in urban areas, with 89 percent of the congestion costs concentrated on only 12 percent of Interstate mileage. 

ATRI says its analysis also shows the average impact of congestion costs on a per-truck basis: in 2013, a truck driven for 12,000 miles had, on average, a congestion cost of $408 and a truck driven for 150,000 miles, had a cost of $5,094.

To see the full report, visit ATRI’s website:

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