Congested traffic in New York, Philadelphia and Vegas is approaching pre-COVID levels as peak hours change.

Congested traffic in New York, Philadelphia and Vegas is approaching pre-COVID levels as peak hours change.

Peak-hour traffic in New York, Philadelphia and Las Vegas is nearly as bad as it was before the coronavirus pandemic forced millions of people to work remotely.

New Yorkers were stuck in traffic for about 80 hours a year last year, according to the TomTom Traffic Index.

The index shows that, despite the increase in home offices and flexible working hours, there are fewer cars on the roads during traditional peak hours, new peak hours in cities, including a late rush hour at 11 am and an earlier than usual hour peak starting at 15:00. .

The researchers say congestion in the U.S. is increasing every month, but the changing nature of the workforce is making traffic patterns harder to predict.

“Rush hour is slowly returning,” TomTom data scientist Jeroen Brouwer told Axios. “The question is, what will the new normal look like?”

Peak hour traffic in New York, Philadelphia and Las Vegas is almost the same as it was before the pandemic.  The Big Apple saw the worst traffic, with a 35 percent occupancy rate and residents stuck in traffic for 80 hours a year.

Peak hour traffic in New York, Philadelphia and Las Vegas is almost the same as it was before the pandemic. The Big Apple saw the worst traffic, with a 35 percent occupancy rate and residents stuck in traffic for 80 hours a year.

The researchers argue that congestion in the US is increasing every month, but the changing nature of the workforce is making traffic patterns harder to predict (pictured: rush hour traffic in Philadelphia in April 2019).

The researchers argue that congestion in the US is increasing every month, but the changing nature of the workforce is making traffic patterns harder to predict (pictured: rush hour traffic in Philadelphia in April 2019).

Satellite navigation company TomTom has collected GPS signal data from millions of cars and smartphones around the world to analyze traffic patterns in more than 400 cities.

The data showed that while the overall congestion rate in North America was down 14 percent in 2021 compared to 2019, traffic patterns in some cities nearly reflect pre-pandemic levels.

New York, Philadelphia, Las Vegas and New Orleans reported congestion at near-normal levels, down just 1-2 percent from 2019.

The Big Apple had a 35 percent congestion rate, making it the worst traffic pattern in America. The data shows that a 30-minute commute will take at least 11 minutes longer when traffic is bad.

Los Angeles, Miami, Baton Rouge and San Francisco also reported high congestion rates of 33, 28, 27 and 26 percent, respectively.

Data compiled by GPS company TomTom showed that while the overall congestion rate in North America was down 14 percent in 2021 compared to 2019, traffic patterns in some cities nearly reflect pre-pandemic levels.

Data compiled by GPS company TomTom showed that while the overall congestion rate in North America was down 14 percent in 2021 compared to 2019, traffic patterns in some cities nearly reflect pre-pandemic levels.

Satellite navigation company TomTom has collected GPS signal data from millions of cars and smartphones around the world to analyze traffic patterns in more than 400 cities.  New York City (pictured in 2015), Philadelphia, Las Vegas and New Orleans reported congestion at near-normal levels, down just 1 to 2 percent from 2019.

Satellite navigation company TomTom has collected GPS signal data from millions of cars and smartphones around the world to analyze traffic patterns in more than 400 cities. New York City (pictured in 2015), Philadelphia, Las Vegas and New Orleans reported congestion at near-normal levels, down just 1 to 2 percent from 2019.

However, even though Los Angeles and San Francisco are the second and fifth busiest cities in America, the occupancy rate is 9 and 10 percent lower than in 2019.

Washington, D.C. and San Jose, California have also reported congestion levels significantly lower than before the COVID-19 outbreak.

The index also saw a 31 percent drop in traffic during traditional peak hours.

Some cities have a new “late morning peak” around 11 a.m.

Others report an earlier start to the evening peak and some cite poor traffic as early as 3pm.

Experts say these changes are largely due to a change in how people work and warn that unpredictable traffic patterns could be a long-term effect of the pandemic, assuming flexible work remains a household staple.

The index shows that, despite the increase in home offices and flexible working hours, there are fewer cars on the roads during traditional peak hours, cities are experiencing new peak hours.

The index shows that, despite the increase in home offices and flexible working hours, there are fewer cars on the roads during traditional peak hours, cities are experiencing new peak hours.

During traditional peak hours, traffic dropped by 31 percent.  Some cities have a new

During traditional peak hours, traffic dropped by 31 percent. Some cities have a new “late morning peak” around 11 a.m. Others report an earlier start to the evening peak and some cite poor traffic as early as 3pm.

Traffic on both weekdays and weekends is down in 2021 compared to 2019.

Traffic on both weekdays and weekends is down in 2021 compared to 2019.

While many companies are pushing employees to vaccinate and return in person, many are still backtracking on their plans to return to the office due to ever-changing guidance from public health officials.

Other companies have indicated that they are still adjusting to a hybrid work environment in which employees work part-time in the office.

“Changing traffic patterns in cities really depends on the kind of work they do,” explained Axios traffic correspondent Joanne Muller.

“In cities where there are many information workers who can work from home, traffic there remains significantly lower than in 2019. But in some cities it has actually returned almost to normal. Not everyone works from home, and that’s important to remember.”

She added, “I think the traffic structure will be very dependent on what happens to the job, and since we don’t know the answer to that yet, we don’t really know how much of that traffic structure change will be.”

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