Mayor Walsh announces data-sharing partnership with Waze aimed at improving traffic in Boston
February 13, 2015
Mayor Martin J. Walsh today announced a new data-sharing partnership with Waze, the popular traffic app owned by Google that allows Boston’s drivers, cyclists and pedestrians to check real time traffic conditions on Boston’s streets. The partnership will help improve traffic flow in Boston in two principal ways.
First, the City will be able to share information on expected road closures with the 400,000 users of Waze in Greater Boston, helping them find the best way to get around town. Second, aggregated information on traffic reported by Waze users will be shared with the City's Traffic Management Center (TMC). This helps the City engineers adjust our 550 signalized intersections across the City, so that traffic can flow better.
"Over the past few weeks, it has become clear how critical it is to find innovative ways to improve traffic flow in the City of Boston," said Mayor Walsh. "I thank Google for their partnership in providing us with another way to use data to better improve how City government works."
Data from Waze is already being used to augment information available from hundreds of intersection cameras citywide and inform traffic signal timing decisions by the City’s Traffic Management Center (TMC).
“This partnership will help engineers in the TMC respond to traffic jams, accidents and road hazards quicker”, said Boston Transportation Department Commissioner Gina Fiandaca. “And, looking forward, the Waze data will support us in implementing - and measuring the results of - new congestion management strategies.”
This spring, the City will pilot several different approaches, such as working with the MBTA to evaluate traffic signal prioritization and its effectiveness along key MBTA routes. The City receives aggregated traffic speed data from the over 400,000 Waze users in the greater Boston area, which will allow it to measure before and after impacts on traffic speeds along targeted corridors.
The City’s partnership with Waze and efforts lead by the Boston Transportation Department is supported by Mayor Walsh’s Citywide Analytics Team. First announced in his recent State of the City address, this team collaborates with City departments to find insights from data that can improve service delivery for Boston residents.