There has been significant reduction in congestion levels due to Covid-19 and completion of key road projects, according to the 2021 Qatar Traffic Report (QTR) released on Monday by Qatar Mobility Innovations Centre (Qmic).
QTR-2021 points out that hours lost in congestion dropped by 42% compared to 2020 and the productivity cost of congestion reduced by QR 1.3bn compared to 2020. This translates to a loss of about 0.3% of the GDP in 2021 which compares very favourably with results from other global cities.
According to the report, the average number of extra hours spent due to congestion during work days is 22 hours per commuter in 2021 which is 42% less than 2020. Compared to 2019, the level of traffic congestion decreased by a significant ratio of 76% driven by road network enhancements and due to Covid-19 impact.
Another major finding in QTR is that February 2021 was the most congested month in the year with a Congestion Index of 14.9%, while December was the least congested with a 9.5% Congestion Index.
The highest congestion period during the workdays is the evening peak (around 5-8pm) during where the average congestion index is around 14%. Friday and Saturday have different traffic trends, while Thursday during the workdays has a slightly different trend as well.
Congestion level in Q1-2021 was significantly below that of Q1-2020 because of Covid’s impact that started in Q2-2020. For the balance of 2021, the congestion level was marginally lower than that of 2020 especially during the heavy travel season of summer and December.
As in previous years, the report uses an extensive data bank generated by Qmic’s home-grown comprehensive Traffic Monitoring & Analytics platform. Qmic continued to expand its multi-modal data collection network in 2021 which resulted in collecting more than 7bn useful data records (about 42% more than the amount of data collected in 2020).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.
Omar Mohammed al-Jaber, director, Strategic Partnerships and Outreach, Qmic commented: “We would like to extend our thanks and appreciation to many national entities who have been working with us to build and deploy our extensive data collection network and the associated advanced traffic analytics platform and services. This has proved very useful in assessing the quality of the road network and in delivering customised services and applications to enhance mobility in Qatar especially during mega events.”
“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 addition to 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,” added, Dr Fethi Filali, director of Technology & Research at Qmic
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