New report identifies economic cost of congestion in NYC

News HDR Inc. December 07, 2006
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New York City's severe traffic congestion is not only annoying, it is economically destructive and will only get worse. Using conservative assumptions, traffic delays currently contribute more than $13 billion in annual costs to businesses and consumers, lost economic output and tens of thousands of lost jobs. Over the next 25 years, the annual costs to businesses and consumers will increase as the metro area adds 750,000 new jobs and traffic increases by 20%, according to a study released by the Partnership for New York City, a business leadership organization.

HDR | HLB Decision Economics Inc. was a principal source for the partnership's "Growth or Gridlock?" report, which can be obtained at HDR | HLB's technical report to the partnership can be obtained at

Key among HDR | HLB's research findings was that 48% of the delay New Yorkers experience in traffic is caused by "excess congestion"--so called because the benefits of accommodating additional traffic are outweighed by the costs of reduced travel speeds, measured in lost productivity, wasted fuel and operating costs. The New York metro area is judged to have a higher congestion price tag than any other major metropolitan region in America. Traffic delays amount to an estimated $1.9 billion in additional costs of doing business and $4.6 billion in lost revenue.

HDR | HLB Decision Economics has provided economic impact studies for a wide range of state and federal agencies including the Alaska, Arizona and Michigan departments of transportation, Federal Railroad Administration, Federal Highway Administration and Federal Transit Administration.

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