U.S. Traffic Jams Wasted 5.7 Billion Gallons of Fuel in 2002

October 01, 2004

Traffic congestion doesn't just waste time, it also wastes fuel: in 2002, it wasted 5.7 billion gallons of fuel. The 2004 Urban Mobility Report, published by the Texas Transportation Institute (TTI), examined 85 urban areas throughout the United States and found growing congestion. Trips that would have required 20 minutes in free flowing traffic extended to 27 minutes on average during peak congestion times. This wasted fuel and a total of 3.5 billion hours.

But some approaches are helping: The report credits "operational treatments" — metered on ramps, motorist assistance programs, traffic signal timing, and street designs that encourage smooth traffic flow — for avoiding 335 million hours of traffic delays, and credited public transportation systems for avoiding 1.12 billion hours of delays. Together, those two approaches saved more than 2 billion gallons of fuel in 2002. For more information, see TTI's September 7 press release.

Source: September 15 edition of EERE Network News.