Cities around the world, without exception, have seen a sharp reduction in traffic volumes, some by almost 85%.
This demonstrates the willingness of people to restrict their movements to contain the spread of the coronavirus.
While some traffic movements are still essential – to stock supermarket shelves and for key workers to get to hospitals – many journeys that are deemed unnecessary have been curbed.
To see the scale of the change in mobility patterns across the world, TomTom Traffic Index performed an analysis of the top 10 cities in the world with the highest traffic reduction.
Using the average traffic figures from the week of 20 January as a baseline, it compared these to the ones from the week of 30 March. Taking Milan as an example, this means that the average traffic in the city was 84.78% lower than what you would expect to see in a normal week.
The top ten cities include:
- Milan, Italy – 84.78%
- Paris, France – 84.10%
- Rome, Italy – 83.80%
- Madrid, Spain – 83.27%
- Monaco, Monaco – 79.44%
- Barcelona, Spain – 81.04%
- Manchester, UK – 75.65%
- Lisbon, Portugal – 75.54%
- Lyon, France – 73.66%
- Boston, USA – 73.40%
Other significant cities just outside the top 10 include Birmingham, UK (71.89%), London, UK (71.37%), Sao Paulo, Brazil (70.17%), New York, USA (69.96%), and Moscow, Russia (65.44%).
Factors in mobility
While these results are interesting to study, their interpretation needs to be carefully considered. If a city shows less of a mobility reduction than another city, this does not mean that there is less compliance with movement restrictions. A city could be home to an essential industry or a higher number of key workers and simply cannot reduce mobility further.
Take a look at the full breakdown of the latest traffic stats here. See where South Africa ranks.