Doha has shown the most improvement (6.5%) in traffic congestion among the major GCC cities in 2019 with the economic cost of congestion reduced by QR300mn, compared to the previous year, says a report by Qatar Mobility Innovations Centre ( Qmic).
“Time wasted per commuter reduced from 98 hours in 2018 to 92 hours in 2019, a significant improvement in traffic conditions. This has resulted in reduction of economic cost by QR300 mn” revealed Dr Adnan Abu-Dayya, the executive director (CEO) of Qmic while presenting the findings of the study ' Annual Qatar Traffic Report' for the year 2019 at a press conference Wednesday.
Dr Abu-Dayya was accompanied by Dr Fethi Filali, head of technology development and applied research, Qmic.
Dr Abu-Dayya said that Doha tops the GCC countries in bettering the traffic congestion figures compared to the previous year. While Qmic figures have been used to measure Doha traffic, other agency figures have been taken into consideration for other GCC cities.
“The figures show marked improvement in the last quarter of 2019 about 12% better than those in 2018. This indicates that road projects completed by Ashghal in 2019 had a positive impact on traffic flow. Additionally, the opening of the Doha Metro most likely has contributed positively to the traffic conditions late in the year by reducing the number of car trips,” explained Dr Abu-Dayya.
According to the CEO, the economic cost (lost productivity) of congestion in 2019 is estimated to be QR6.4bn, 4.5% less than 2018, translating to a loss of about 0.9% of the GDP in 2019. “This is equivalent to the level of economic losses observed in other countries. On the other hand, this indicates that the projects completed in 2019 saved around QR300mn,” he noted.
January, February, March 2019 were the most congested months in the year with a Congestion Index of 27.7% . The highest congestion period during the workdays is the morning peak (around 7-8 am) where the average congestion index is 30.1% . In the morning peak hours of workdays, Sunday had the highest congestion index of 29% and Thursdays had the lowest congestion index of 28%.
Dr Abu-Dayya also pointed out that Qmic collected all the data using its Advanced Traffic Monitoring & Analytics Platform-MasarakTM- and utilising its unique and rich bank of traffic data in Qatar.
“Thanks to QMIC’s expanding and unique multi-source data collection network, we collected over 1.5bn records of data throughout the year. We expect to collect four to six billion data this year. In its fourth edition, our report looks in depth at the conditions and status of traffic in Qatar during 2019 and complies all key noteworthy details regarding traffic congestion into measurable outputs. The report focuses on benchmarking this year’s outcomes against results from previous years and editions in order to highlight the changes and study the variations over the years,” he highlighted
The official thanked the partners who supported Qmic's effort directly and indirectly especially Ashghal, Ministry of Municipality and Environment, and Qatar Rail.
"Qmic is continuously working towards expanding its data collection network in order to further enhance the accuracy, coverage, and abilities of its traffic information platform. We expect to increase the amount of our collected data by 300% during 2020 thanks to newer technologies used in its sensing network, increased number of Telematics users, and the expected growth in active users of Wain, a navigation application, Qmic has developed," added the Qmic CEO.