Data Reveals The Worst Times For NYC Traffic

August 5, 2014 | Sophie Weiner

Using the same FOIL request that gave us information on every taxi ride from 2013I Quant NY‘s Ben Wellington bring us some more helpful data analysis. Behold, the best and worst times of the day for traffic in New York.

Wellington found that, strangely, there isn’t a real rush hour in the city. Instead, the average speed of a taxi remains at a creeping 11.5 mph between the hours of 8 am and 7 pm. The only decent time to be on the road seems to be around 5 am:

The actual peak, or the time with the least traffic on the road in NYC is at 5:18AM.  The average trip speed at that time is 24mph or about 1.8 times faster than the average NYC taxi trip!  But as soon as 5:18AM hits, things start going the wrong way fast. For every 15 minutes you wait after that time to start your trip, the average speed drops by about 1 mph.


The average speed for all rides from 2013 was only 13.3 mph. But the absolute worst time to take a cab is on your lunch break. The lowest average speed was found for 12:17 pm – only 11.1 mph. (Photo: Pete Bellis)