San Francisco Businesses Lose $61.6M Annually to Traffic

SAN FRANCISCO, CA–(Marketwired – December 13, 2017) – San Francisco’s heavy traffic congestion costs businesses in the city an estimated $61.6M in productivity1, this according to research conducted by TomTom.

The TomTom Traffic Index Report has found San Francisco to be the second most traffic congested city in the United States. Overall travel times have increased by 39 percent over the last year, with congestion extending the average drivers’ time spent on the road by 39 minutes. The financial impact is costing each of the 56,6542 commercial light vehicle drivers in the city approximately $4.82 per day for a total cost per day of $234K. Annually, costs accumulate to $61.6M for San Francisco’s business economy.

Torsten Grunzig, Director of Sales for TomTom Telematics North America, says, “Traffic congestion is a fact of life for every driver, in every city, but the problem for San Francisco is growing substantially each year, to the point where the city has become the second most congested in the United States. Overcoming the congestion challenge and recapturing these lost hours is a major challenge for businesses.”

The TomTom report has also found that Tuesday mornings (8am-9am) and Thursday evening (5pm-6pm) represent traffic peak hours.

“It’s all about billable hours for businesses operating a mobile workforce. Traffic congestion increases the probability of a driver becoming stuck on the road, wasting billable time, burning fuel, increasing emissions and potentially disappointing customers,” says Grunzig.

“Fleet management solutions can help businesses to overcome these issues, as they help drivers navigate around traffic jams. Not only can a fleet tracking solution help to ensure drivers receive the better available route, based on anticipated congestion spots and collected data from other devices, they can also enable the back office to better plan around congestion, and keep customers alerted as to a driver’s ETA. By providing a platform that monitors potential traffic problems, drivers’ proximity to jobs, who’s being re-routed around congestion and realistic ETAs, fleet managers and planners can operate a smart scheduling and dispatch service, using the best placed driver for each job.”

San Francisco is joined on the list of top five US cities for congestion by two other Californian cities, Los Angeles and San Jose.

The United States Top 5 Most Congested Cities in 2016 According to TomTom Traffic Index

City   Congestion Level   Extra Travel Per Year (Hours)   No. of Commercial Vehicles   Cost to Business
Los Angeles   45%   170   1,103,918   $1.36B
San Francisco   39%   150   56,654   $61.6M
New York   35%   129   74,389   $69.6M
Seattle   34%   152   37,403   $49.8M
San Jose   32%   144   197,675   $206.4M

Notes to editors

1California 2016 DMV data

2This number was determined using the following calculation:
39 minutes lost sitting in traffic ÷ 60 minutes = 0.65 hours x $7.50 (average US minimum wage) = $4.82 the cost of sitting in traffic

3This number was determined using the following calculation:
56,654 x 150 (Total extra travel in San Francisco per year in hours according to TomTom Traffic Index) = 8,498,100 total hours lost by all light commercial vehicles in San Francisco
$7.50 (US average minimum wage) x 8,498,100 = $61,611,225 ($61.6M) the cost of all hours lost by drivers.

The same method was used to determine the monetary value of traffic for the other cities in the report.

About the TomTom Traffic Index

The TomTom Traffic Index measures congestion on the road networks of 295 cities around the world.

The TomTom Traffic Index gives drivers detailed information on the impact congestion has on their city’s travel times.

Road authorities can use the TomTom Traffic Index to measure the performance of their network and pinpoint areas where traffic flow can be improved.

Over the years TomTom has built up a database with 14 trillion historical travel time measurements and we provide detailed and accurate traffic updates for drivers in 50 countries.

About TomTom Telematics

TomTom Telematics is a Business Unit of TomTom dedicated to fleet management, vehicle telematics and connected car services. WEBFLEET is a Software-as-a-Service solution, used by small to large businesses to improve vehicle performance, save fuel, support drivers and increase overall fleet efficiency. In addition, TomTom Telematics provides services for the insurance, rental and leasing industries, car importers and companies that address businesses as well as consumers.

TomTom Telematics is one of the world’s leading telematics solution providers with more than 785,000 subscriptions worldwide. The company services drivers in more than 60 countries, giving them the industry’s strongest local support network and widest range of sector-specific third-party applications and integrations. More than 48,000 customers benefit every day from the high standards of confidentiality, integrity and availability of our ISO/IEC 27001:2013 certified service, re-audited in November 2016.

For further information, please visit

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1 Calculations performed by TomTom Telematics

2 See notes to editor

PR Contacts:
Ellyn Winters-Robinson
CMO, Ignition Communications (PR for TomTom Telematics NA)