Finding a major metropolitan area that doesn’t experience traffic hangups and delays from time to time is nearly impossible.
But if it seems like Orlando’s traffic is particularly bad, that’s because it is — as a recent study named Orlando one of the worst cities for commuters not only in the country, but in the world.
According to the Orlando Sun Times, GPS navigation company Tom Tom recently released the findings of its traffic index, which looked at traffic data from 200 cities across the globe. The index found that Orlando ranks 18th in the U.S. for traffic congestion, and 96th worldwide.
In an effort to relieve some of this highway congestion, SunRail, Central Florida’s first fixed-rail mass-transit system, is taking steps to boost ridership and revenue of its commuter train system.
According to the Orlando Sentinel, SunRail recently won a $93 million federal grant that will allow it to extend its commuter train network 17 miles southward into Osceola County. The extended Osceola leg promises to carry an additional 2,000 passengers into Orlando each day, SunRail managers say.
On top of expanding its train lines, SunRail also plans to make improvements to its scheduling system that will better notify passengers of any delays; sell SunCards in stores throughout Central Florida like CVS, 7-Eleven and Walgreens; and increase its advertising reach, the Orlando Business Journal reports. As more commuters opt for public transport over private vehicles, the city’s highway congestion will undoubtedly begin to clear up.
Orlando is far from the only U.S. city plagued by bad traffic. One study from Texas AandM University’s Texas Transportation Institute found that traffic delays cost the country’s economy a shocking $121 billion each year in lost time and wasted gasoline.
But at least Orlando residents have one thing to be happy about — their traffic isn’t even the worst traffic in the state. Miami came in at 7th place on Tom Tom’s traffic index, making it the worst place to drive in Florida, and Tampa ranked 11th.