In an effort to improve traffic, the City of Montreal has become the first Canadian partner to sign onto the Waze Connected Citizens Program, a free two-year partnership. Waze is a navigation app Google acquired in 2013, which allows its users to report and view traffic incidents in real-time.
The Ville-Marie borough will see two-way data sharing of publicly available traffic info using Waze, in what Aref Salem, member of the city’s executive committee in charge of transportation, said “By obtaining real-time data, the city wants to improve its reactivity to traffic jams, accidents or other incidents on the road and minimize the impact on drivers.” Salem added if the project is successful, further deployment will be planned to extend data sharing across the city.
Paige Fitzgerald, Connected Citizens Program Manager at Waze, said “We are excited to welcome Montréal as our first partner in Canada,” adding “Waze is only as strong as the information it receives from its users. Montréal is a growing community for Waze and the immense data Montréal can contribute to the Waze app makes them a valued partner moving forward.”
The free agreement will see the city share publicly available planned traffic obstruction data with Waze; in exchange, the city will receive real-time, anonymous, Waze-generated incident and slow-down information directly from Waze users.
The Centre de gestion de la mobilité urbaine de Montréal (CGMU) says real-time information sharing is crucial when trying to understand traffic issues in the city, and Waze data will assist in managing local issues.
Lionel Perez, in charge of infrastructures said “This year, there will be a number of major construction projects in Ville-Marie. This pilot project is a concrete illustration of initiatives to facilitate road travel for users when there are obstructions to traffic.”
Waze says there are over 103,000 monthly active users in Montreal who drive over 19 million kilometres monthly; in December, over 250,000 incidents alone were reported by users.