Louisiana DOTD and Baton Rouge City-Parish join Waze data-sharing program

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The Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development (DOTD) and Baton Rouge City-Parish, Louisiana, are teaming up with Waze, the free, real-time crowdsourced navigation application, which is powered by the world’s largest community of drivers.

Through the free partnership, DOTD and the City-Parish will join 65 other communities around the world as global partners within the Waze Connected Citizens Program, which was established by Waze to facilitate two-way data sharing of publicly available traffic information between government agencies and citizens. The partnership promotes greater efficiency and safer roads for citizens across the world, with the traffic information exchange now aiding drivers on both state routes in Louisiana and throughout East Baton Rouge Parish. The Waze Connected Citizens Program provides municipalities, states, and countries with a view into real-time road activity, which helps drivers make decisions that affect travel.

With a foundation of two-way data sharing, Waze provides its partners with real-time, anonymous, incident and traffic information directly from its users, known as ‘Wazers’. In exchange, DOTD and the City-Parish will provide real-time, government-reported construction, crash and road closure data to Waze to create a succinct and thorough overview of current road conditions. Moving forward and in the coming months, both DOTD and the City-Parish will be working to integrate Waze data streams into each organization’s traffic management system and related traffic monitoring applications, such as DOTD’s ‘511’ website and the City-Parish’s traffic incident map. Waze data should be available on both platforms by the end of the summer. According to Waze data, Baton Rouge has more than 35,000 monthly active users who collectively drive more than 7.2 million miles (11,600,000km) with the app each month.

“This level of data sharing between Waze, DOTD and the City-Parish will play an important role for travelers throughout the state, as DOTD continues to incorporate the latest technology into our Traffic Management Center,” said Louisiana’s Transportation Secretary, Shawn Wilson.

“I firmly believe in the power of data and information which, when provided to citizens in a real-time manner such as this, will help travelers make more informed travel decisions and have a more enjoyable and safer commute. Through this partnership we are taking the next step in our efforts to provide as much information as possible for the day-to-day commuter, travelers passing through our state, and to those in need of real-time information during emergency situations, such as flooding, winter storms and evacuations.”

Baton Rouge’s Mayor-President, Kip Holden, commented, “Through this exciting partnership with Waze and our partners in traffic management at the state, we are taking the next step to adopt a data-driven approach to reducing congestion here in Baton Rouge, and create safer driving conditions for all our citizens. Much in the same way we achieved a Top 10 Digital City ranking last year, my administration is laser-focused on how we can best utilize technology and digital platforms, such as Waze, to better connect with citizens and, in this case, both provide and consume real-time traffic data that works together to form one of the world’s most accurate overviews of local traffic conditions.”

Waze Connected Citizens program manager, Paige Fitzgerald, added, “Our map evolves with every driver and data point it receives. The immense levels and layers of traffic-related data now available in Baton Rouge and throughout Louisiana will serve as key catalysts in helping drivers get to where they need to go, on the most optimal routes possible.”

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Tom has edited Traffic Technology International magazine and the Traffic Technology Today website since he joined the company in May 2014. Prior to this he worked on some of the UK's leading consumer magazine titles including Men's Health and Glamour, beginning his career in journalism in 1997 after graduating with a law degree from the London School of Economics (LSE).

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