QMIC Announces Key Findings of its 2021 Qatar Traffic Report

QMIC Announces Key Findings of its 2021 Qatar Traffic Report

Qatar Mobility Innovations Center (QMIC) has released the 7th edition of its Qatar Traffic Report (QTR) for the year 2021. The report provides valuable insight into the trends and patterns of traffic movement and mobility behavior throughout the year in addition to comparing the outcomes against those of previous years.

In its 7th edition, the report analyzes the status of traffic congestion in Qatar during 2021 which continued to be impacted by two major factors: by COVID19 restrictions and by the progress made by Ashghal in completing major road projects and intersections.

As in previous years, the report uses an extensive data bank generated by QMIC’s home-grown comprehensive Traffic Monitoring & Analytics platform. QMIC continued to expand its multi-modal data collection network in 2021 which resulted in collecting more than 7 billion useful data records (about 42% more than the amount of data collected in 2020). The accumulated rich traffic data bank over the last years will undoubtedly prove to be an extremely crucial tool in preparation for Qatar 2022 and beyond.    

On the release of the 2021 QTR report, Mr. Omar Mohammed Al-Jaber, Director of Strategic Partnerships and Outreach commented: “We would like to extend our thanks and appreciation to many national entities who have been working with us to build and deploy our extensive data collection network and the associated advanced traffic analytics platform and services. This has proved very useful in assessing the quality of the road network and in delivering customized services and applications to enhance mobility in Qatar especially during mega events.”

Examples of the outcomes and insights which the report includes are assessing the impact of road/infrastructure projects on traffic overtime; monitoring changes in congestion levels across Qatar; identifying problematic congestion areas in specific times/days; quantifying the economic and environmental impact of road congestion; comparing the traffic trends from year to year; and assessing improvements mad e in Doha traffic compared to those made in major cities in the region.

Dr. Fethi Filali, Director of Technology & Research at QMIC and who led the QTR team commented by saying, “QTR takes into consideration a number of key globally accepted metrics to report on the severity, time, and locations of traffic congestion in Qatar. In order to gauge traffic conditions for year 2021 in a scientific, methodical and accurate way, the QTR uses the concept of Congestion Index (indicates average reduction in speed due to congestion) to assess the level of traffic flow. In addition, using publicly available statistics about the size of the work force and average wages in Qatar together with QMIC’s mobility and congestion data, QMIC has built a model to quantify the economic impact of traffic congestion in Qatar.”

The following key findings for 2021 QTR are revealed:

  1. The average number of extra hours spent due to congestion during work days is 22 hours per commuter in 2021 (this is 42% less than 2020). Compared to 2019, the level of traffic congestion decreased by a significant ratio of ~76% driven by road network enhancements and due to COVID19 impact.
  2. The economic cost (lost productivity) of congestion in 2021 is estimated to be 1.8 billion QR (~ 40% reduction compared to 2020). This translates to a loss of about 0.3% of the GDP in 2021 which compares very favorably with results from other global cities.
  3. February 2021 was the most congested months in the year with a Congestion Index of 14.9%, while December was the least congested with a 9.5% Congestion Index.
  4. The highest congestion period during the workdays is the evening peak (around 5-8pm) during where the average congestion index is around 14%.
  5. It is noticeable that Friday and Saturday have different traffic trends, while Thursday during the workdays has a slightly different trend as well.  
  6. Congestion level in Q1 2021 was significantly below that of Q1 2020 because of COVID’s impact that started in Q2 2020. For the balance of 2021, the congestion level was marginally lower than that of 2020 especially during the heavy travel season of Summer and December.

Throughout the previous years, QMIC’s QTR has been considered a national traffic index and a score card for the state of traffic in Qatar. This is a highly desirable output for any country or region as similar processes are used to measure and calibrate the road network as well as helping stakeholders and decision makers in taking the best possible steps and implementing the right traffic policies and procedures. This in turn would contribute to better urban planning and result in the improvement of traffic conditions as the population continues to grow. 

The QTR is one of the key outputs of the only local and comprehensive mobility data platform which was fully developed and deployed by QMIC. It represents a comprehensive platform and integrated suite of services serving the areas of Intelligent Transport, Road Safety, and Smart Logistics/Telematics. In addition to its analytics platform, proprietary technologies, and up-to-date GIS layers, it has its own sophisticated multi-source data collection network consisting of a large fixed sensing network using QMIC’s WaveTrafTM road traffic road sensors, Telematics devices installed in fleet vehicles, and crowd-sourced data contributed by thousands of Wain mobile application users.

QMIC is committed towards enhancing its data collection network, to include better and more informative indicators, in addition to providing a wide array of related applications and services as part of its intelligent mobility data and analytics platform.