Most congested cities in the world

Tired of being stuck in traffic for hours on your daily commute? You are not alone in that. Millions of people worldwide are just as frustrated, and some cities have more congestion than others. In this blog post, we look at the world’s most congested cities and explore why they are so congested. From the sprawling metropolis of Los Angeles to the bustling streets of Mumbai, we will look at each city’s unique challenges and the steps residents and city planners are taking to reduce congestion. Whether you are a city dweller or just curious about the most congested places in the world, this blog post has something for everyone. So sit back, relax, and join us as we explore the world’s most congested cities.

The world’s 11 most congested cities

Table Of Contents

  1. Moscow
  2. İstanbul
  3. Bogotá
  4. Mumbai
  5. Bucharest
  6. São Paulo
  7. Bengaluru
  8. Bangkok
  9. Kyiv
  10. Novosibirsk
  11. Odessa

The reasons for congestion in these cities


Moscow is congested because the city is huge. There are 12 million people, who live in Moscow and an addition of 2-3 million visitors and non-registered residents to that number ( . 4 million cars are registered in the city, and other unknown cars come from elsewhere.

The number of cars in Moscow increases annually by 250–300 thousand, leading to a rise in total traffic volume. Constant building and reconstruction of new roads have increased the number of traffic jams. There is a poor connection to the road network. Russian drivers do not like to abide by rules, creating many accidents, and causing traffic jams, especially in the wintertime. 


Since public transport in Istanbul is complex, due to the systems involved, there remains high traffic on the road. Istanbul has been facing a problem of unplanned urbanization over the past decades. 

Urban transport crisis in traffic congestion and accidents has been a problem. These crises are due to limited transport infrastructure, a rapid increase in motor vehicle ownership, and poor public transport services. The causes of traffic congestion in Istanbul include poorly planned roadways and transportation systems, poorly timed traffic signals, and insufficient traffic system coordination.


Traffic congestion in Bogota, Colombia, is caused by an inadequate public transportation system. There are no trains or metro lines in the city, and traffic jams during rush hours. It has weak public transportation options, unlike other cities in the world. Bogota has about 6 million people. 


Mumbai’s urban population is around 12 million ( As the city expands, more buildings emerge, and migration continues to increase. Increasing migration for better work opportunities has caused the growth of the population in the city hence the demand for transportation.

The city is connected by a rail transportation system, with trains carrying 2.6 times more passengers than their capacity resulting in deaths and accidents on a daily occurrence. People have no option but to hang on the footboard of the train to reach their workplace.


In Bucharest, everyone uses their cars and drives to the city center, resulting in traffic rising since people are not using public transportation anymore. Public transportation should be appealing to people.

Bucharest should develop more bicycle lanes and park-and-ride stations that allow commuters heading downtown to leave their vehicles and transfer to public transport. 

São Paulo

São Paulo has 8.5 million motorized vehicles and 100-kilometer-long traffic jams, making it one of the most congested cities. It has to look for ways to shift rapid motorization to a more sustainable path.

The traffic choking Brazil’s financial center is the city’s rapid economic growth. The first thing anyone moving into the middle class thinks about is buying a car, meaning more people are bringing new vehicles onto the roads, and adding to the existing congestion.


The population growth and an increasing number of private vehicles have contributed to the growth of traffic on the roads of Bengaluru. Traffic congestion fails to widen the city roads, meaning a lack of space. There is a need to reduce the number of privately-owned vehicles on roads.

Longer trip lengths, poor road conditions, and safety concerns have made cycling more difficult. Non-motorized modes are exposed to accidents as they share a right of way with motorized, fast-moving, and heavy vehicles. Non-motorized modes must be used in the transport system of the city.


The causes of Bangkok’s transport problems are a lack of roads and road safety, lack of public transport, traffic management, and environmental issues. Traffic problems can make it difficult to get around the city during peak rush hours.

It gets congested during peak hours when workers based outside the city drive to and from work. Rush hour in Bangkok affects both surface roads and expressways. Chances are high that you end up in traffic if you try to reach either of Bangkok’s airports during rush hour. 


Kyiv accommodates a maximum of 500,000 vehicles, but about a million cars travel on the roads, and this number keeps growing. Kyiv residents live and rest in one part of the city and work in another, meaning they have to drive from home to work and back every day, which is a heavy load on traffic.

Kyiv residents travel by their vehicle, causing congestion. There is an irrational redistribution of traffic flows in the capital due to an inefficient traffic control system.


Transport problems have been a problem in Novosibirsk for some time. The problem comes from the rapid growth of personal vehicles and active housing construction, namely, traffic congestion. It has a population of 1.5 million and over 1,700,000 square meters of housing.

Building development projects were designed faster than transport corridors. As a result, the housing construction overwhelmed the capacity of the existing road network.


The area is heavy with many restaurants and shopping centers, causing a large influx of traffic. That raises concerns about traffic and congestion occurring all over the city right now. Traffic conditions in Odessa have traffic jams, accidents, roadworks, and slow-moving traffic.

The effects of congestion on residents

Traffic congestion can have several negative effects on residents, including:

  1. Increased stress and frustration: Sitting in traffic can be frustrating and stressful, especially when it occurs regularly. This can increase stress and anxiety levels, negatively impacting mental and physical health.
  2. Reduced air quality: Congested roads can also lead to poor air quality, as vehicles emit pollutants such as carbon dioxide and nitrogen oxides. This can have serious health consequences for residents with respiratory conditions.
  3. Reduced quality of life: Congestion can also affect residents’ overall quality of life. For example, it can make it difficult for people to get to work or school on time, leading to lost productivity and missed opportunities. Additionally, it can limit access to essential services, such as healthcare and education.
  4. Economic costs: Congestion can also have economic consequences, such as increased costs for businesses and individuals. For example, businesses may pay higher prices for goods and services due to increased transportation costs, while individuals may have to spend more on fuel and car maintenance.

Overall, traffic congestion can have various negative effects on residents, including increased stress, reduced air quality, and reduced quality of life. Cities need to address congestion to improve the well-being of their residents.

  • Increases travel costs.
  • Reduces accessibility by increasing travel times. 
  • Increase in noise pollution, stress, and decreased mental satisfaction.
  • Increased passenger time pressure.

The solutions to congestion

New highways, roads, and interchanges should be built, as well as repairs and expanding the old road network. There should be more public transport so fewer people use their private cars. Not only do they need to increase public transport, but it has to be fast. No one wants to be late for work or school due to slow transport. 

There should be restrictions on vehicles in the city, and an introduction of paid parking in the center. People should not park cars in several lanes on each side of small roads, and even on sidewalks. That has to be regulated with fines and evacuation of cars. Large trucks should be banned from entering the city limits during day time.

Another solution to transport mobility problems includes the development of public transport and instruments of private transport use, especially in central city districts. The development of public transport should bring advantages to passengers in terms of speed, safety, and comfort. An efficient transport framework for urban development should be created, including route plans, rail transport routes, feeder routes, transfer hubs, parking spaces, and interceptive parking lots.

Develop green transport, the subway, and electric transport. Expanding and optimizing the public transport route network and replacing shuttle vans with large-capacity urban buses should be worked on. 

The future of congestion in these cities

It is difficult to predict the future of congestion in specific cities, as it depends on factors such as population growth, urban planning, and implementing congestion-reducing measures. However, congestion will likely continue to be a major issue in many cities worldwide, particularly in rapidly growing urban areas. To address this issue, cities must implement effective solutions such as public transportation improvements, congestion pricing, and traffic management systems. It is also important for city planners to engage with the community and consider their needs and concerns when developing solutions to congestion. By working together, cities can reduce congestion and create more livable, sustainable communities.

  • If no measures are taken, the traffic will choke the whole city.
  • Some cities have come to accept a degree of congestion and continue to get along.
  • Cities should adapt and respond to shocks and stresses.


In summary, traffic congestion in cities worldwide is a major problem that can seriously affect both residents and the environment. The cities on this list are among the most congested in the world, and each faces unique challenges in addressing the problem. However, by implementing effective solutions and working with their communities, cities can begin to reduce congestion and improve the quality of life for their residents. While there is no one-size-fits-all solution to this problem, the cities on this list exemplify what can be done to reduce congestion and create more livable, sustainable communities.

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