Press Releases

Telecommuting and stay-at-home restrictions for the COVID-19 pandemic are having a noticeable impact on traffic.
April 8, 2020

How COVID-19 Is Affecting Traffic and Emissions

For Immediate ReleaseContact: Kelly Taft, MAG, 602-452-5020
Vladimir Livshits, MAG, 602-254-6300

PHOENIX (April 8, 2020)—Telecommuting and stay-at-home restrictions for the COVID-19 pandemic are having a noticeable impact on traffic.

The Maricopa Association of Governments (MAG) is tracking the amount of time commuters are stuck in traffic each day. The measure of congestion delay* is calculated from speed data. The data covers all major freeways and most of the arterial streets in Maricopa County on a daily basis, 24 hours a day.

Fewer cars mean less congestion, which results in higher average speeds in the region. Faster travel times mean less delay when compared to free flow traffic. Since most freight deliveries are still occurring, MAG finds that daily traffic for heavy trucks has remained relatively consistent.

The charts may be found at They are available for your use. Please note attribution requirements. The charts include:

  • Comparison of average weekday traffic for all freeways and arterials for March 2019 and March 2020.
  • Trend line showing freeway and arterial travel times. (Note that a computer disruption occurred between March 28 and April 1, and no data are available for that period.)
  • Traffic congestion delay for all freeways and arterials.
  • Decline in weekday traffic volume compared to pre-COVID “normal.”
  • Average heavy truck traffic compared to pre-COVID “normal.”
  • Comparison in nitrogen dioxide emissions between March 2019 and March 2020.

Please note that the graphs are derived from INRIX data, which are proprietary and require attribution. A single notation in a report and a single logo on web pages that draw from INRIX data is acceptable. For example, a reporter could say "according to travel time data by the analytics company INRIX." The graphs incorporate the appropriate attributions. To subscribe for updates when data changes, click on the GovDelivery icon under the charts.

*The delay (measured in vehicle hours) is calculated as the excessive travel time for all vehicles when average speed during a given hour is at least 20mph lower than the free-flow speed. The daily delay is calculated as the sum of hourly delay per day in the region.

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About MAG

The Maricopa Association of Governments (MAG) is a Council of Governments (COG) that serves as the regional planning agency for the metropolitan Phoenix area.

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Title VI requires that no person in the United States of America shall, on the grounds of race, color, or national origin, be excluded from the participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be otherwise subjected to discrimination under any program or activity for which MAG receives federal financial assistance.

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