New partnership with Waze saves $200,000 annually
The Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) today announced a data-sharing partnership with Waze, a free, real-time crowdsourced traffic and navigation app for smartphones, that will provide a feed of travel time information on RIDOT's highway message boards.
The partnership, part of Waze's Connected Citizens Program, provides this data at no cost to RIDOT, which previously paid $200,000 annually for travel time information. Designed as a free, two-way data share of publicly available traffic information, the Connected Citizens Program provides partners with real-time, anonymous, Waze-generated incident and slow-down information directly from the source – drivers themselves. In exchange, RIDOT provides real-time construction, crash and road closure data to Waze. The result is a succinct, thorough overview of current road conditions.
"We're pleased to be able to leverage the power of this travel information, which most of us have access to through our smartphones, so it can be shared with everyone and get these message to drivers quickly and safely," RIDOT Director Peter Alviti, Jr. said. "It's also another legacy issue we've tackled, saving money for taxpayers while providing improved service."
"The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) is an avid advocate in using these signs to provide travel time information to the traveling public," said Carlos C. Machado, FHWA Division Administrator for Rhode Island. "Travel time information can help reduce congestion, lessen bottlenecks and decrease driver anxiety, thereby mitigating crashes and saving lives."
FHWA provided funding to establish Rhode Island's network of electronic message boards, called dynamic message signs.
Starting today, Monday, November 20, the travel times will appear on four message boards, three on I-95 (at the Connecticut state line in Hopkinton, at the Cowesett Road overpass between Route 4 and Exit 10 in Warwick, and between Exits 15 and 16 in Cranston) and one on Route 4 south between Exits 6 and 5 in North Kingstown. Additional signs will be added to the travel time program through the fall.
"We are thrilled to partner with RIDOT and help them to save resources while gaining a deeper understanding of real-time traffic conditions," said Thais Blumenthal de Moraes, Waze's Head of Connected Citizens Program. "Waze is the only service in the world to offer this type of civilian content, and we're excited to work with RIDOT and help reshape their state to better accommodate new citizen needs."