Kristin Arnold: Sitting in traffic isn't just annoying, it's expensive ... not to mention time consuming. So, how much time and money is it costing you to sit in traffic?
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A new report from the Texas Transportation Institute, finds commuters during peak timess in 12 American cities spent an average of more than $1,000 worth of time and gas idling in traffic in 2009.
TTI's annual Urban Mobility Report measures the cost of delays to commuters and freight truck drivers and adds that to the cost of fuel to run idling vehicles ... to measure how much traffic congestion costs America. The total? $115 billion in 2009 alone.
To put that number in perspective, if traffic congestion were an industry, it would surpass the size of the motion picture industry and the music recording industry combined.
The average commuter paid one-thousand-one-hundred dollars worth of congestion costs, far above the national average of $808 per peak commuter. The top three cities are:
Chicago, with the average commuter spending over 17-hundred dollars and 70 hours idling in trafffic while waisting 53 gallons of gas a year.
Washington D.C. comes in second with commuters spending over 15-hundred dollars, 70 hours and 57 gallons ... .
and Los Angeles places third in the nation with over 14-hundred dollars spent, 63 hours and 50 gallons idling in traffic per year.
For all commuters out there, it may be time to invest in a car with better gas mileage, telecommute or simply use public transportation ... if you can.
To see where your city idles in traffic costs, TTI has a map of results for the 439 urban areas surveyed.
Tag: and for more auto news, visit Bankrate.com ... I'm Kristin Arnold.