For the first time in 28 years, Bay Area commuters can no longer complain about having one of the five worst commutes in the nation.

The annual Urban Mobility Report, a study of traffic congestion nationwide, lists the San Francisco-Oakland metropolitan area as the sixth worst in the U.S.

The report measures the amount of time spent in slow-moving traffic based on average driver’s delay, the difference between the time a trip takes in congestion versus free-flowing traffic.

Those numbers fell from 71 hours a year in 2007 to 49 hours a year in 2009.

Many Bay Area traffic and business leaders cite the local investment in transportation improvements, such as carpool lanes and highway widenings, as the main factor for the congestion decrease.

But authors of the Texas Transportation Institute survey warn that California’s struggling economy likely played a huge role in the decreased numbers. They suggest that a rebound in the economy could bring the old gridlock back to the Bay Area.

Click here for the San Francisco-Oakland area report.

Photo Credit: By Photo: Andreas Praefcke, via Wikimedia Commons