Commuters in Qatar spent the equivalent of more than 4.5 days in traffic last year, according to a new report.
Qatar Mobility Innovations Center’s (QMIC) second annual traffic report, which analysed 1.4 billion data records from a network of sensors, found that commuters in the country spent 109 hours on average in congestion.
This compared to 102 hours the year before.
The economic cost of the lost time was between QAR5.6bn ($1.53bn) and QAR6.6bn ($1.81bn) or about 1 per cent of GDP, up from between QAR5.2bn and QAR6bn the previous year, according to the firm.
QMIC said overall congestion last year was worse than 2015 but congestion levels in the second half of the year were better than those seen previously due to road projects completed by Ashgal.
Congestion was found to be highest in the morning at around 7am, with an average congestion rate of 36 per cent recorded.
Sundays were the most congested workdays with an average travel time rating of 2.14 compared to Thursdays with the lowest travel time rating of 1.97 and October was found to be the most congested month.
Qatar’s Traffic Department chief, brigadier Mohammed Saad Al Kharji, was quoted by local publication The Peninsula as saying the figures were “shocking”.
“The study is shocking for sure, but I believe the real figures will come when all roads are opened, railway projects commenced and public transport expanded,” he said, urging motorists to be patient while work is completed.
QMIC said it expected traffic behaviour to keep improving or stay flat as road projects are completed.