Waze, city team up to tackle commute times
Connected Citizens partnership is a free, 2-way information sharing agreement between Toronto and Waze
The City of Toronto is partnering with popular navigation app Waze to share real-time data to help drivers get around the city, Mayor John Tory announced Monday.
Tory made the announcement beside Michael Wilson, Waze Canada's country manager.
The new two-way partnership means that starting today, the city will share its traffic data, including road closures, events, construction and other incidents, with Waze, while the app will share its community-generated traffic data with the city.
"This partnership will give our traffic operations centre … better visibility into traffic patterns," Tory told reporters. "And it will give users of the Waze application enhanced information so that they can plan."
The deal does not come with a cost to either the city or the company, both Wilson and Tory confirmed.
'A better navigation experience'
"Having the most accurate navigation information in Waze can only help create a better navigation experience for everyone on the roads," Wilson said.
Waze is billed as the world's largest community-based traffic and navigation app, with some 90 million active users worldwide, Wilson said.
In the GTA, about 560,000 drivers actively use the app, and spend on average 9.5 hours per month using its features.
Waze launched in October 2014 with 10 city partners, and Toronto is the 19th Canadian city to join the app, behind Montreal and Winnipeg. It has nearly 500 city partners world-wide.
According to Wilson, the partnership, called Connected Citizens, helped Boston reduce congestion in its seaport district by 18 per cent. Better data can not only help drivers better outsmart traffic, Wilson said, it can also help cities make larger infrastructure decisions.
News of the partnership comes a week after the start of another venture aimed at improving commuting times. The King Street pilot project got under way last weekend, giving the right of way to streetcars along the busy east-west route.