San Francisco Rush Hour Traffic: Among US Worst in 2023

San Francisco’s rush hour traffic was among the slowest in the US in 2023, according to an annual study by TomTom, an international mapping software firm. The study analyzed traffic trends from the past year across every major city worldwide, revealing that San Francisco commuters took an average of 20 minutes and 30 seconds to drive 10 kilometers (6.2 miles), making it the third slowest time in the US, behind New York (25 minutes) and Washington D.C. (21 minutes). San Francisco’s commutes were the 71st-slowest in the world, with only London’s rush hour traffic being worse.

Several factors contributed to San Francisco’s slow traffic:

  • Long commutes: The average commute distance in San Francisco was roughly the average worldwide committing distance, with many residents facing lengthy drives to work.
  • Congestion: San Francisco experienced significant congestion during rush hours, leading to wasted time and increased emissions.
  • Afternoon rush: The evening commute, or afternoon rush, was the most congested time of day for San Francisco traffic, with peak congestion occurring between 5 PM and 6 PM.

The consequences of San Francisco’s slow rush hour traffic were far-reaching, affecting residents’ time, wallets, and the environment:

  • Time: San Francisco residents spent an average of 183 hours driving, with 73 hours due to congestion.
  • Cost: Each San Francisco driver emitted 868 kg of CO2, requiring 87 trees to absorb it. Residents spent $500 on gas, with $67 stemming from traffic jams alone.
  • Emissions: The city’s congestion problem contributed to increased air pollution, negatively impacting public health and the environment.

To alleviate the issue, residents could consider strategies such as adjusting their schedules, using public transportation, carpooling, exploring alternate routes, and planning their trips. By addressing the factors contributing to San Francisco’s slow rush hour traffic, the city could work towards a more efficient and sustainable transportation system.