Traffic congestion in Canada’s Toronto region is costing the country $3.3bn in lost productivity annually, according to a new report by an international organisation.

The congestion causes pollution, long commutes and jams in the city causing ‘a direct hit on productivity’ particularly in economic sectors that depend on rapid delivery such as retail, logistics and food.

According to the report by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), nearly 71% of city commuters remain dependent on automobiles – an indicator that public transportation has not kept pace with population growth.

This is partly due to an urban sprawl, underinvestment in public transit and a disjointed system, the report said.

The OECD has recommended solutions such as toll lanes, local fuel and parking taxes as well as a Singapore-style congestion charge, where drivers will be charged a certain fee for using key roads during peak hours.