The results are in for the Global Traffic Scorecard—a report that ranks cities based on the hours commuters spend in traffic. And, according to statistics, Los Angeles drivers and passenger spent 104 hours in traffic
in 2016 during peak commuting hours. That translates to four full days plus eight additional hours of just sitting in gridlocked traffic.
These hours add up to an approximated financial loss of $2,408 per driver, or roughly $9.7 billion collectively, due to wasted fuel and productivity.
Everybody drives in LA, but that doesn’t mean that public transportation isn’t available. In fact, just last year, two light-rail lines opened and legislation was passed to raise sales tax so that there can be increased funds for building more infrastructure for public transport. But to date, service is largely considered inefficient and has led to the locals being unwilling to give up driving for the Metro.
Moscow, Russia comes in second on this scorecard with 91 hours spent in traffic, followed by New York with 89.
According to Graham Cookson, chief economist at INRIX as reported by ABC News, “Congestion is bad for our wallets and our health, but in one sense it is a good problem to have. Roads are the arteries of the economy pumping people and goods around the country. Congestion is the symptom of a rich and prosperous economy.”
Still, it is a problem that has to be addressed. And, among the more innovative ideas being proposed is Elon Musk’s plan to literally bore through traffic.
The Tesla and SpaceX founder and CEO is serious about digging a tunnel into and through Los Angeles, and he has completed a boring test drive, so to speak, at the SpaceX headquarters in LA. Workers dug a “test trench” 30 feet wide, 50 feet long, and 15 feet deep this past weekend, which Musk called the beginning of an experiment.
Despite releasing images of his boring project, it’s still unclear as to how the tunnel will function. But, as this project continues, many others seek to find creative solutions to this traffic problem. And, while Musk is not on board with the possibility of introducing flying cars into the public, there are many who are well on their way to making flying cars a reality. There is even talk of creating a US-based hyperloop.
Hopefully, whichever plans come to pass, there will eventually be some sort of viable public transportation solution for Los Angeles. This will both decrease the congestion issues that plague the city while, at the same time, hopefully lowering greenhouse gas emissions.