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By Lisa Flueckiger, Contributing Reporter

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – A study by Dutch transport technology company TomTom has revealed that Rio de Janeiro has the third worst traffic in the world for the second time in a row. The study used transportation data collected through GPS from 146 big cities and ranked them according to their traffic congestion through the entire day.

Traffic in Rio has worsened since the demolition of the Perimetral highway, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil News
Traffic in Rio has worsened since the demolition of the Perimetral highway, photo Divulgação.

Residents of Rio de Janeiro lose a hundred hours per year on average stuck in traffic, according to TomTom. The situation is only worse in Istanbul, Turkey and Mexico City, Mexico. Surprising is that São Paulo, known informally as having the worst traffic in Brazil, didn’t make it into the top ten in the Dutch study. In Brazil, the city is only sixth after Rio, Salvador, Recife and Fortaleza.

TomTom analyzed the saturation of the roads during the day and during rush hours, unlike measurements of e.g. CET-Rio, Rio’s traffic agency, that measures traffic jams per kilometer.

“We analyzed the traffic on 230 working days and found that a route in Rio that took an average of thirty minutes, now takes 56 minutes. Almost twice as long. The density on the city’s roads was around 51 percent. Compared with 2013, however, the study revealed a slight decrease in density from 55 percent,” Marcelo Fernandes, TomTom’s content director in Latin America, explained.

“We believe that this slight decrease happened due to the extra holidays during the World Cup. The hope is that with the completion of transportation construction works, this scenario changes,” he continued.

When ranked for rush hours, Rio de Janeiro falls to eight place in the study’s ranking, behind Recife in Brazil, which has the sixth worst afternoon rush hour. Again in the rush hour statistic, São Paulo is not ranked among the top ten.

The reason for Rio’s high ranking in traffic congestion is explained with the many transportation infrastructure works under construction in the last years, such as the demolition of the Perimetral highway. The data, collected every five minutes, also revealed that Rio has a less defined rush hour and a more even congestion through the entire day.

CET-Rio commented the study in saying that “an objective traffic analysis on the city in the past four years can not be separated from an evaluation of the impact caused by numerous works in progress.”

“The mobility projects executed in Rio represent a historic transformation, with benefits that will extend for decades and provide better quality of life to millions of people,” the statement continued.

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