Tel Aviv Ranked 5th Worst in World for Traffic Congestion

Israel has 'significant infrastructure needs,' said International Monetary Fund officials

Traffic at Ayalon highway in Tel Aviv.
Tomer Appelbaum

Tel Aviv is among the world’s five most congested cities, according to navigation app Waze. The company’s statistics found that it takes on average 2.38 minutes to drive one kilometer in Israel’s second-most populated city.

The app found that Manila, the capital of the Philippines, has the world’s heaviest traffic, with an average of 4.9 minutes to drive a kilometer there. The traffic situation in Manila got significantly worse recently. Waze found that as of April, it had taken “only” 3.8 minutes to drive a kilometer – which is still among the world’s worst rankings.

Other cities in the top five were Bogota, Colombia, where it took about 4 minutes to drive a kilometer; Jakarta, Indonesia, with a similar figure; and Sao Paulo, Brazil, where traffic moved just a hair faster than in Tel Aviv.

Waze didn’t publish the full report, but its findings correlate with reports regarding traffic congestion.

The navigation service TomTom published its own ranking of traffic congestion in 403 major cities, where Tel Aviv ranked 19th, with an average 42% extra travel time stuck in traffic. This was par with Sao Paolo and Rio de Janeiro in Brazil and behind Cairo, Egypt, and Lodz, Poland. First place in TomTom’s ranking went to Mumbai, India, which was followed by Bogota, Colombia, and Lima, Peru.

According to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development and the International Monetary Fund, Israel has some of the worst traffic in the Western world. Israel has “significant infrastructure needs,” said IMF officials who visited in March. “Israel suffers the worst congestion in the OECD,” stated IMF assistant director Craig Beaumont at a press conference.

An OECD report published last year said that “Israel has an important infrastructure deficit,” particularly when it comes to public transport, which causes significant traffic and poor air quality. Among other solutions, the OECD recommended taxing transport in private cars instead of taxing car purchases, and launching toll lanes on public roads. They also called for ride sharing via apps such as Uber.