BEST AND WORST CITIES TO DRIVE 2017 - BENEFITS OF PUBLIC TRANSPORT

The German auto parts retailer kfzteile24, commissioned a study to identify best and worst cities to drive around the world. 100 cities are ranked on an analysis of local congestion levels, average cost of parking and fuel, average roadway speeds, air pollution levels, number of traffic injuries, and road quality. Dusseldorf tops the list of driver-friendly metro areas, among other factors, because its highways are congested a mere 20% of the time, while in Kolkata the roads are 69% traffic-jammed, which is the highest level among all 100 rated global cities.

The cities were evaluated on ten (10) parameters to calculate the ranking:

However, it is interesting to see list of cities and evaluation of these cities on different parameters. List of 10 Best and Worst Cites are given below:

The following are some of the inferences from the study:

1. Availability of Public Transport -   It is observed that the cities which are ranked best for driving, also have high scores on "Public Transport Alternatives (PTA)". All top 10 cities, except Dubai, have PTA score in the range of 8-10, which clearly shows that most of the people are relying on the public transport. This will definitely create positive impact on road traffic. On the other hand, the cities with worst drive conditions scored low scores (range 1-3) on PTA level. Indian cities faired very badly in this study as only 3 cities could able to make it to 100 cities in terms of safe driving ranking - Bangalore (95 rank), Mumbai (96 rank) and Kolkata (100 rank). There is direct co-relation between availability of good public transport and congestion level in the city. 

2. Speed -   The cities with good public transport system ranking has better average speed of vehicles. Cities like Tokyo (TPA - 10) and Singapore (TPA - 8.56) which have good public transport system, and these cities also have good commercial speed - Tokyo (30 kmph) and Singapore (32.40 kmph). The situation is same in all best cities, but the cities without good public transport system are crawling at 10-20 kmph.

3. Air Quality   - The cities are scored on the basis of air quality data provided by World Health Organisation for the year 2016. The data again clearly shows that the cities with good public transport network and less congestion have better air quality, compared to the cities without public transport. It clearly indicates that cities should invest more in public transport to achieve better air quality. 

4. Road Transport Injuries   - Road safety is one of the critical issues as 1.25 million people lost their life in road accidents in 2013 as World Health Organisation data. The survey used the same database to rank cities on this parameter.  Basel city (Switzerland) scored perfect 10 on road transport injuries index as the city also scored 9.01 on public transport alternatives. The data clearly indicates that the cities with good public transport have witnessed fewer road fatalities. On the other cities without good public transport scored very poorly. 

5. Road Rage   - The cities with better scores indicates low numbers of road rage incidents. The survey was conducted with over 1,000 drivers to rate their perception and number of incidents in the past 12 months. The data clearly indicates that the drivers reported lower road rage incidents in cities with better public transport. There is direct relation between congestion level and road rage. Thus, public transport does not only improve cities' conditions but also help to improve quality of life in the city.  

The data clearly shows that cities must develop good public transport system if they are looking to solve traffic congestion, improve air quality, reduce road accidents and improve quality of life. The cities should use this as benchmark and can clearly see that public transport has multiplier impact and can enhance the overall outlook of the city. 

(Source: kfzteile24 Best and Worst Cities to Drive 2017)

 

Methodology

To determine the 50 best and 50 worst cities for driving, we first examined the top 500 cities with the highest number of registered vehicles. Looking then into the cities with the most available traffic data, we decided on this definitive list of 100 cities.

To make a comparable quantification of how good or bad each city is to drive, we made a three-step evaluation of the data. First, we ranked the raw data from highest to lowest value and then we awarded a standard score based on their ranking in the following manner:

A low score indicates poor driving quality for that category, with each increasing number indicating that the city is better to drive in. A score of 1 represents the worst conditions possible and 10 indicates the best. Secondly, all categories were given an overall percentage. To create a comprehensive ranking, the Final Score is a weighted average of each individual category, as follows:

Final Score (i) =30% Congestion (i) + 15% Offroad (i) + 10% Parking (i) + 15% Speed (i) + 5% Air (i)+
+5% Petrol (i) + 10% Traffic Deaths (i) + 5% Road Quality (i) + 5% Road Rage (i)

Finally, we standardized the data to have a true final score.

Defintiion:

 For the congestion level score, the data was provided primarily by the TomTom Traffic Index. For the cities not included in the TomTom index, data was provided by the city councils of the respective cities. Any traffic delays or congestion caused by temporary construction work was not taken into account for this study.

 The public transport options score affects the quality of driving in a city, because if there are poor public transport alternatives then there is no other option than for people to drive their cars, leading to increased congestion, faster degradation of road quality and increased road rage. A lack of off-road alternatives also means that elderly drivers are forced to continue using their cars when it might no longer be safe, leading to more road accidents. The score was calculated based on the length of the rapid transit system and suburban railway network for each city, with more kilometres of metro rail per capita equating to a higher score. Information on the size of the networks was provided by the system operators.

 The parking score was calculated based on the cost of parking for one hour. Information on parking was provided by the official parking authority of the city.

 The average speed score was based on the average speed between the city centre and the international airport. The average speed was calculated for three times of the day (morning rush hour, midday and evening rush hour), and then the three scores were averaged for a final score.

 The air pollution score was calculated based on data provided by the World Health Organisation’s 2016 air quality in cities database.

 The petrol price score was based on information from local stations taken on August 18th 2017.

 The World Health Organisation’s status report on road safety 2013 was used to calculate the road traffic injuries score for the cities.

 The road quality score was based on the Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Report 2013 produced by the World Economic Forum, where citizens of each country were asked to assess the quality of the roads in their country. This is also a national score and does not account for minor differences between cities.

 The road rage score was calculated based on the results of a poll conducted in each of the cities asking over 1000 drivers to rate their perception of road rage and the number of incidents witnessed in the past 12 months.