Traffic congestion costing millions to economy

Published: November 3, 2017


LAHORE: An estimated Rs47.9 million annually ie Rs1 million per week is wasted due to congestion, a study of traffic flow at a patch of 1.1 kilometres of a road in Lahore revealed.

Department of Economics of Lahore University of Management Sciences Assistant Professor Syed Hassan presented his research on economic loss due to traffic congestion presented in a seminar “A Brief Study on Traffic Congestion in Lahore (Cost and Solution)” at Punjab Safe City Authority (PSCA) Lahore office at Qurban Lines.

Quetta traffic problem

The session was attended by PSCA DG Ali Amir Malik, PSCA CEO Nair Malik and Chief Traffic Officer (CTO) Rai Ijaz Ahmad.

Hassan said there were many other costs (effects/losses) that were caused by traffic congestion like environment, human behaviour etc. But the study focused on economic loss only. The data for the study was provided by PSCA for April 2017. The patch of road was 1.1 kilometres on Mall Road from Canal Road to Davis Road.

Car, motorcycle and rickshaw were considered as traffic leading to congestion. Minimum time taken by the vehicles to cover that 1.1-kilometre patch ie 160 seconds were taken as standard and time taken more than 160 seconds by a vehicle was counted to calculate traffic congestion.

To count economic loss, average earning of a car-rider, motorcyclist and rickshaw driver were also considered. The time wasted due to snarl-ups was calculated. Average earning of the drivers per minute was also calculated. The average time wasted was multiplied with average per minute earning.

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In the study, average fuel loss of a vehicle while its engine was turned on but it was not moving was also calculated. Economic loss due to congestion was calculated and it was Rs1 million per week and Rs47.9 million annually.

The study showed that average proportion of cars per hour was 30% and loss of fuel of cars due to congestion was over Rs314,000 and total loss was over Rs476,000.

Average proportion of motorcycles passing per hour from the patch was 60% and fuel loss was Rs419,000 and total loss was calculated as over Rs444,000. As much as 20% rickshaws passed through the patch on average per hour and fuel wastage was Rs33,000 and over Rs380,000 per week. Hassan said these were conservative estimates.

Published in The Express Tribune, November 3rd, 2017.

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