Pennsylvania Partners with Waze to Improve Traveler Information
Harrisburg, Pa.—Governor Tom Wolf today announced travel information available for Pennsylvania roadways is being expanded through a free, two-way data-sharing partnership between the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) and Waze (www.waze.com), a real-time crowdsourced navigation app through which drivers share road conditions.
“As travelers rely more and more on their smartphones for real-time traffic data, this new partnership represents yet another way PennDOT is modernizing to keep up with the demands of its customers,” Governor Wolf said.
The program promotes more efficient traffic monitoring by sharing free, anonymous, crowdsourced incident reports and slow-down data from Waze users (called Wazers). Waze will receive PennDOT’s road condition reporting data to share with its users, while the department will use data reported by Wazers to supplement internal traffic-condition monitoring.
“PennDOT is always looking for ways to make it easier and safer to travel on our roadways,” PennDOT Secretary Leslie S. Richards said. “This partnership will advance our efforts in showing a government that works by improving our data while providing verified information through the app.”
According to Waze, Philadelphia has more than 417,000 active users per month and Pittsburgh has more than 80,000 active users per month. The mission of Waze Connected Citizens Program is to help Wazers, as well as cities and citizens collaborate to improve their community and answer the question “What’s happening on our roads right now, and where?”
“Waze is only as strong as the information it receives from its users,” said Paige Fitzgerald, Connected Citizens Program Manager at Waze. “With many Pennsylvanians already using Waze and partnerships with more than 25 U.S. municipalities including the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission, Waze already enables and empowers drivers. Our goal is to further connect Pennsylvania cities through this data exchange. The immense data PennDOT can contribute to Waze makes them an important partner moving forward.”
Deep technical knowledge is not required to be selected as a partner of the Connected Citizens Program. It is critical that prospective partners prove their dedication to citizen engagement and commit to use Waze data to improve city efficiency. Partners are also expected to measure and share their findings with other municipal organizations, developing case studies that serve as keys to a global set of improvements which can be made for collective mobility.