The Odds of Running Late in Massachusetts

How many times have you left the house on time for work, social events or family gatherings, only for terrible traffic to make you late? If the answer is “loads of times” then you’re not alone, and in this article you can discover which cities have the best odds of making you late, courtesy of research by

Traffic congestion is on the rise across North America, causing even the most organized people to have their plans thrown into disarray as they struggle to traverse the cities they live in. The residents of many different cities lay claim to having the most congested roads in the country, so to settle the debate has delved into the data to discover the real travel times people are facing.

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North American Cities with the Longest Current Travel Time

Topping the travel time chart is an American city that is almost as famous for its traffic problems as it is for making movies: Los Angeles. Traffic in the City of Angels has surged after taking a brief dip during the height of the pandemic, and research into the average time taken to travel across the city shows L.A. clocking in at 61.07 minutes, making it the most likely city in America to make you late.

Coming in just under 10 minutes behind L.A. is San Francisco, where an antiquated road network built to serve the city’s old industrial facilities now causes havoc to users every day, with the average travel time an agonizing 51.33 minutes.

Detroit’s roads are the subject of constant debate across the city, and anyone looking for evidence in favor of upgrading them can point to an average travel time of 45.09 minutes — the third highest in North America.

While Detroit’s congestion problem is growing very slowly, the issue is unfolding more rapidly in Boston, where travel times have increased by 6.8% between 2015 and 2022, with Bostonians now facing a 44.98-minute average travel time to get across their increasingly busy city.

Completing North America’s top five highest travel times is Toronto, where an average journey across the city takes 44.92 minutes. The city’s road system was built for the 1960s and, like those of many of the cities mentioned here, residents are bearing the brunt of outdated infrastructure.

Cities Predicted To Have Longest Travel Time By 2030

City planners and local governors are scrambling to improve roads and reduce congestion in their cities, but research suggests things are going to get worse before they get better. Indeed, all five of the cities with the highest average travel times are expected to see increases in those times between 2022 and 2030, albeit at varying rates.

Without drastic action to improve its road networks and public transport services, Los Angeles is lurching towards a nightmare scenario in which the average journey across the city by road will take 90.82 minutes in 2030, and the picture barely looks brighter in its Californian neighbor San Francisco, where the average travel time is expected to hit 70.53 minutes by the end of the decade.

Lateness is set to increase in Boston, too. While it was possible to cross the city in an average of 42.10 minutes back in 2015, by 2030 it will take the average road user 49.65 minutes to traverse the capital of Massachusetts.

Increasing numbers of road users and creaking infrastructure are expected to compound the problem of congestion in Toronto, where the average travel time is expected to increase by 8.4% to 48.03 minutes by 2030.

And there is a dishonorable mention for Minneapolis in the predicted travel times for 2030, with the mini apple clocking up a 46.61 average to push Detroit out of the future lateness stakes.

Which Massachusetts City Has the Longest Travel Time?

Boston’s population is more than three times the size of the next biggest city in Massachusetts, with 672,814 people trying their best to be on time each day! With such a sizeable population in a city built over hundreds of years ago, it’s little wonder that Boston has a problem when it comes to making people late.

Boston’s average travel time has been on the increase, and the trend is showing few signs of abating. While lawmakers and governors debate how best to solve the travel issues affecting the city’s residents, the average journey time across the city has already increased from 42.10 minutes in 2015 to 44.98 minutes in 2022.

As if that 6.8% increase wasn’t bad enough, the coming years are expected to be even worse for Bostonians as the average travel time across the city hits a predicted 49.65 minutes in 2030, representing a 10.4% increase since 2022 and a staggering 17.9% increase since 2015! 


To find out where you have the greatest chance of being late, we analyzed Numbeo’s time index figures, which highlighted the average one-way time needed to transport through the city (in minutes). In order to predict figures for 2023, historical travel data was run through a linear forecast regression model, which calculated future values.

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