Traffic builds on the connector early Friday afternoon, March 29, 2013, just south of downtown Atlanta as drivers get a jump on their Easter weekend.
Photo: Ben Gray,
Photo: Ben Gray,

Huh? Atlanta has one of America's lowest average commutes, study says

Here is something some Atlanta drivers may not believe: Their average commute, according to Waze, is just 34.1 minutes — and Atlanta drivers are some of the most satisfied, by city, in the world.

Waze, a navigational app, said it analyzed data from 50 million users, but did not break out specific numbers for Atlanta (which was apparently defined by its CSA designation, covering some 6 million-plus residents).

This reported average commute time of 34 minutes places Atlanta ahead of the other U.S. cities evaluated by Waze, including Los Angeles, New York and Washington, D.C., and international cities such as London and Rome.

In a second "score card" of Atlanta's driving experience — evaluating such things as traffic, driver services and road quality — Atlanta also ranked well in traffic, driver services and socioeconomics, but less well in road quality, commute and "Wazeyness" (an abstract category measuring "positive state of mind").

The overall satisfaction score from Atlanta drivers, according to Waze: 7.4 out of 10.

This new ranking follows other, less encouraging reports: A 2013 report by Urban Mobility found that Atlanta had the seventh slowest traffic in the nation; and a March report by the Metropolitan Policy Program at Brookings found that Atlanta drivers have one of the longest typical commutes in the country.

But TomTom, a GPS company providing similar navigational services Waze, issued in its own study in March and found similarly encouraging (if surprising) traffic results for Atlanta.