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The Globe and Mail

Vancouver leads Canada in traffic congestion: survey

The 2016 TomTom Traffic Index finds Vancouver motorists cut their time in traffic jams by an average of four hours.

DARRYL DYCK/The Globe and Mail

An annual traffic survey reveals Vancouver remains Canada's most congested city, followed by Toronto and Montreal, but the study shows all three are inching toward improvement.

The 2016 TomTom Traffic Index finds the average time drivers waste sitting in traffic has dipped over the last year, with Vancouver motorists cutting their time in traffic jams by an average of four hours.

TomTom says Toronto drivers reduced their average time in traffic congestion by 11 hours, while Montreal drivers saved about 30 minutes.

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The navigation and mapping product company credits infrastructure investments and better traffic management, noting the declines are the first in Vancouver since 2010, while Toronto and Montreal haven't seen drops since 2012.

"We really want everybody to think about how they can lower the amount of time they waste in traffic every day, and to realize that we all need to play a part," said TomTom Traffic vice president, Ralf-Peter Schaefer.

TomTom estimates commuters in Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal can spend nearly 30 per cent extra time travelling due to congestion, amounting to an average of slightly more than five full days every year.

According to the traffic index, the Thursday evening rush hour is the most prone to nasty jams in most Canadian cities, but TomTom notes Edmonton, Quebec, Hamilton and Calgary are exceptions.

"We can help businesses plan smarter working hours to help their employees avoid travelling during rush hour." said Schaefer.

Calgary is also identified as the least congested city in Canada, with the survey showing that city's congestion rate has dropped three per cent since 2015.

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