* Significant reduction in congestion levels due to Covid-19 and completion of key road projects
* Hours lost in congestion dropped by 60% compared to 2019
* Productivity cost of congestion reduced by QR3.6bn compared to 2019
Qatar recorded significant reduction in traffic congestion in 2020 due to Covid-19 and the completion of key road projects, says the sixth annual Qatar Traffic Report (QTR) released by Qatar Mobility Innovations Centre (QMIC) on Monday.
According to the report, the number of hours lost in congestion dropped by 60% while the productivity cost of congestion decreased by QR3.6bn compared to 2019.
The report analyses the status and conditions of traffic in Qatar during the year 2020 and takes a closer look at the impact of the Covid-19 lockdown and restrictions on the movement and travelling of road users, while comparing the results against previous years.
Omar Mohamed al-Jaber, director of strategic partnerships and outreach, said: “This year’s report is especially important as it provides important insight into changes in traffic trends under extraordinary circumstances caused by Covid-19 and shows the progress made by Ashghal (Public Works Authority) in enhancing the road network in Qatar. It can provide a very useful understanding to decision makers about the type of actions, preparations and regulations needed during crises.”
The average number of extra hours spent due to congestion on Qatari roads is 38 hours per commuter in 2020 (60% less than the 92 hours in 2019). Most the congestion was recorded in the first and last quarters of 2020.
Congestion level in all of 2020 was 37% below than that of 2019. However, during the peak of the Covid-19 restrictions in April-September, the level of congestion was 60% less than 2019.
The pre-Covid-19 months of January, February and March 2020 were the most congested months in the year with February having the highest congestion index of 26.5%
The economic cost (lost productivity) of congestion in 2020 is estimated to be 2.4 - QR2.9bn. This translates to a loss of about 0.5% of the GDP in 2020. Compared to the economic loss in 2019, this represents a significant reduction of QR3.6bn.
The highest congestion period during the workdays is the evening peak (around 6-7pm) during which the average congestion index is 21.3%. In the morning peak hours of workdays, Sunday had the highest congestion index of 21% and Tuesday had the lowest congestion index of 20%
Dr Fethi Filali, director of Technology & Research at QMIC, noted: “QTR takes into consideration a number of key globally accepted metrics to report on the severity, time, and locations of traffic congestion in Qatar. In order to gauge traffic conditions for the year 2020 in a scientific, methodical and accurate way, the QTR uses the concept of Congestion Index to assess the level of traffic flow. In addition, using publicly available statistics about the size of the work force and average wages in Qatar together with QMIC’s mobility and congestion data, QMIC has built a model to quantify the economic impact of traffic congestion in Qatar.”
In 2020, the amount of data added to the QMIC mobility data bank increased by 300% compared to the amount of data added in 2019 thanks, in part, to the deployment of the new 3rd generation of QMIC’s WaveTraf traffic sensing devices. The accumulated rich traffic data bank over the last years will undoubtedly prove to be an extremely crucial tool in preparation for Qatar 2022 and beyond.
Examples of the outcomes and insights which the report includes are assessing the impact of road/infrastructure projects on traffic overtime; monitoring changes in congestion levels across Qatar; identifying problematic congestion areas in specific times/days; quantifying the economic and environmental impact of road congestion; comparing the traffic trends from year to year; and assessing improvements made in Doha traffic compared to those made in major cities in the region
The QTR is one of the key outputs of the only local and comprehensive mobility data platform which was fully developed and deployed by QMIC. It represents a comprehensive platform and integrated suite of services serving the areas of Intelligent Transport, Road Safety, and Smart Logistics/Telematics.
Related Story