PA TURNPIKE COMMISSION JOINS WAZE CONNECTED CITIZENS PROGRAM
Data Share Will Help Provide More Timely Alerts to Dispatchers and Travelers
MIDDLETOWN, PA. (MAY 8, 2015) – The PA Turnpike Commission (PTC) today announced a data-sharing partnership with Waze (http://www.waze.com), the real-time, crowdsourced navigation app powered by the world’s largest community of drivers. Designed as a two-way data share of publicly available traffic information, the Connected Citizens Program promotes greater efficiency, deeper insights and safer roads.
The mission of the Waze Connected Citizens Program is to help users of the app (called “Wazers”), other drivers and agencies like the PTC to collaborate to improve the accuracy, timeliness and availability of roadway information and to answer the question, “What’s happening on our roads right now, and where?”
The program promotes better traffic monitoring by sharing publicly available, crowdsourced reports from Waze app users. Under the two-way data share, Waze will receive live feeds from the PA Turnpike’s Traffic Operations Center (TOC), including traffic incidents, road closures, construction alerts and estimated travel times. On top of that, Waze adds publicly available incident and road closure reports from its platform to return one of the most succinct, thorough overviews of current road conditions today.
The PTC is the first toll-highway operator in the U.S. to join the Connected Citizens Program.
“We’re very excited about this partnership,” said Paige Fitzgerald, Connected Citizens Program Manager at Waze. “Waze needs data from the people managing the roads just as much as we need data from the people on the roads to continue to maintain the safety and efficiency of our users’ routes. This data share agreement will benefit every citizen driving on PTC roads.”
With the addition of PA Turnpike data, Wazers will be safer on the roads and more knowledgeable about construction, accidents, congestion or anything else that can cause delays. And for Turnpike travelers, enhanced information from drivers is essential; no one knows more about what’s happening on the toll road than the people traveling it.
“More and more people here in Pennsylvania are relying on Waze as their copilot on the road, and this partnership is another means by which we can provide real-time information to Turnpike travelers,” said PA Turnpike CEO Mark Compton. “In addition, we can use the crowdsourced data from Wazers to improve the alerts we issue to our customers via our online travel conditions map, digital signs on our roadway, and our hands-free, eyes-free smartphone app, TRIP Talk – and all the other ways we communicate conditions.”
Intelligence about what’s happening on the Pennsylvania Turnpike collected from the Waze app provides a new, more immediate source of information to the PTC’s Traffic Operations Center and enhances the viability of data fed to Turnpike travelers. Most importantly, it can provide quicker notification of an accident to TOC dispatchers and therefore improve incident response time. It can also make the Turnpike’s safety and maintenance crews aware of common issues — like vehicles broken down on the shoulder, debris on the roadway, or pavement concerns like potholes — sooner.
The PTC presently makes traveler information available via various methods depending on how customers prefer to receive information. Travelers can get Turnpike alerts by calling 866-976-TRIP (8747) or visiting the live Travel Conditions Map online at www.paturnpike.com/webmap. The Turnpike’s smartphone app, TRIP Talk, streams audio advisories to iPhone and Droid users so they can keep their hands on the wheel and eyes on the road. To download the free app, visit www.paturnpike.com/triptalk.
The Waze Connected Citizens Program launched Oct. 1, 2014 and today has more 30 international partners. To learn more visit http://waze.com/connectedcitizens.
# # #
The Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission operates and maintains 552 miles of toll roads in the state. It oversees 68 fare-collection facilities, 17 service plazas and 27 maintenance facilities. With around 2,000 employees, it generates $862 million in annual toll revenue (fiscal 2014) from 194 million vehicles a year. Known as “America’s First Superhighway,” it opened Oct. 1, 1940. To learn more, visit www.paturnpike.com.