Decoding Google map information on travel time to understand travel speed and congestion in Delhi

Centre for Science and Environment has carried out this simple and indicative exercise to assess the impact of congestion on travel time and traffic speed on Delhi’s major arterial roads which have been specially designed to give priority and primacy to improve speed of vehicular movement.

This assessment has used the daily real time information of Google Maps for different arterial roads during the month of June in Delhi to calculate average traffic speed during different hours of the day on the roads. There is a rider -- June is not the most representative month as educational institutions remain closed.

Key stretches on 13 main arterial roads in Delhi have been identified with more than 60,000 passenger car units (measure of traffic volume, based on road space usage by different categories of vehicles) per day, as per a 2010 RITES (Rail India Technical and Economic Service) survey for the study on Transport Demand Forecast in Delhi. These stretches are representative of the geographical spread of the city -- south, north, east, central and Lutyen’s zones of Delhi; as well as their connection with national highways and state highways to NCR towns of Gurugram, Faridabad and Ghaziabad.

The data was noted for every hour from 8 am to 8 pm for the month of June. The speeds were then calculated for every hour for all the roads daily. Arterial roads are primary networks that provide long distance travel through multimodal transportation system connecting all major city-level land uses. They also facilitate inter-city and regional trips by connecting with highways and expressway networks.

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