TomTom Traffic Index: Honolulu Ranked 3rd Most Congested in U.S.

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Photo: Emily Metcalf

HONOLULU – TomTom today released its Traffic Index today, and while Honolulu didn’t get the top spot for most congested U.S. city (Los Angeles did), Honolulu ranked third in the nation.

In Honolulu, travel times are 28 percent longer if traffic is not flowing freely. Honolulu moved down one spot, from second place in Q1.


The report said:

  • On average, someone from Honolulu with a 30 minute commute will experience 76 hours of delays per year.
  • Thursdays and Fridays are the worst days to hit the roads in Honolulu, as they have the longest congestion delays.
  • The heaviest traffic day fell on Wednesday, April 24, 2013 when there was construction and lane closures related to the HART  (Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation).

Panos Prevedouros PHD, a professor of engineering at the University of Hawaii and worldwide transportation consultant and expert, said Honolulu’s ranking should increase in the near future.

“The combination of lane closures by the rail project and the various road pavement projects long overdue combined with the lane closures in Kaakako for high rise construction, and the cancellation of the PM Zipper project by the Hawaii Department of Transportation should be enough to take us to the top spot,” Prevedouros said.  “Will this be the tipping point for transportation planning and politics on Oahu?”

TomTom’s Traffic Index measured traffic congestion in 53 cities across the U.S. (those with populations greater than 800,000) by examining real time GPS data to provide traffic analysis.

This is how cities compare: 

1.  Los Angeles: Traffic increased two percent to its highest levels seen in last six years

2. San Francisco: Moved up from third place in Q1

3. Honolulu: Moved down from second place in Q1

4. Seattle: Ranking remained the same.

5. San Jose: Ranking remained the same

6. Washington, DC: Ranking remained the same

7. New York: New to the Top 10 in 2013; up from #11

8. Portland: New to the Top 10 in 2013; up from #12

9. Boston: New to the Top 10 in 2013; up from #21.

10. Chicago


Other notable findings include:

  • West coast cities dominate list with five rankings in the top 10 (not including Honolulu)
  • San Francisco’s busiest day – Saturday, April 20 – coincides with the city’s “420” marijuana holiday and accompanying festival and concert in Golden Gate Park
  • Phoenix is the least congested large metropolis
  • Indianapolis has the least congestion of cities included in the study (800,000 people or higher)
  • New Orleans falls from #7 to #16
  • Tampa falls from #9 to #12
  • This edition of the TomTom Traffic Index also reveals that severe weather was a significant cause behind some of the busiest traffic days across the U.S.


The full report and country/city data can be viewed at





  1. "Panos Prevedouros PHD, a professor of engineering at the University of Hawaii and worldwide transportation consultant and expert, said Honolulu’s ranking should increase in the near future." Well, at least we'll soon be in the #1 spot on a list. I wonder how much our traffic would improve if: people would actually learn how to drive instead of just getting behind the wheel and turning the key (or pushing the Start button), require that trucks with 3 axles or more stay in the right-hand lane unless making a left turn, restrict truck deliveries in town to non-peak travel times (like in many mainland cities), if HPD were to more systematically enforce traffic violations. Just a few thoughts.

    • Also end HART's rail, cause it won't help traffic, esp. during Christmas shopping season. Who will ride a train carrying gifts & a prey for muggers?
      BTW; Caldwell's asking favors from individuals at the Parsons Brinckerhoff engineering firm, who gave to the Caldwell campaign,and are the largest cluster of donations from executives at one company, according to reports filed with the state Campaign Spending Commission.

      Top officers of the Parsons firm, president and chief executive George J. Pierson, global chief operations officer Gregory Kelly, and chief of staff Michael Fisher – each gave the maximum-allowable $4,000 to the Caldwell campaign

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