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Waze, Las Vegas Partner to Reduce Congestion

Partnering with Waze has benefits for the Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada, as the company plans to share its incident response data with the transit authority to help officials better understand traffic patterns.

by Daniel Rothberg, Las Vegas Sun / April 11, 2016
To prioritize smart city investments in Las Vegas, the IT team turned to rapid prototyping — quick pilots requiring little investment. Jacob Surland, caughtinpixels.com / via Flickr

(TNS) -- As Las Vegas braces for $1 billion in road construction, the Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada is working with Waze, the popular real-time traffic app, to share information with the public.

RTC launched the partnership with Waze a day after the kickoff of Project Neon, which over time should reduce traffic around the Spaghetti Bowl but will cause delays during three years of construction.

Under the partnership, the RTC, Southern Nevada’s transit authority, will feed the Waze app with data so that drivers can access up-to-date information on road construction, traffic accidents and road closures.

“Orange cones are a part of our lives right now,” Tina Quigley, the authority’s general manager, said during remarks at a news event Friday.

And Project Neon is not the only source of those cones. The RTC estimates there are about 75 construction projects in the region.

Waze aggregates traffic information, like speed, from the phones of its users, who keep the app open while they drive. Using that, it recommends the most efficient route to get from Point A to Point B. Users can also report obstructions like accidents and hazards. The RTC is working with Waze’s Connected Citizens Program, which allows organizations to funnel additional sources of information into the platform. The program’s partners include large metro areas like Los Angeles and Washington, D.C.

Partnering with Waze has benefits for the RTC as well, Quigley said. The company plans to share its incident response data with the transit authority, which will allow it to better understand traffic patterns.

“We believe traffic is a universal problem but that we are all in it together,” said Paige Fitzgerald, Connected Citizens program manager.

The partnership with Waze coincides with a broader RTC effort, dubbed the Seeing Orange campaign, to provide more traffic updates. Seeing Orange’s website offers a regional map of all projects with updates and a form to submit comments.

©2016 the Las Vegas Sun (Las Vegas, Nev.) Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.