If Montreal has one major problem, it's the city's roads. And I don't just mean the mass amounts of potholes and construction sites that litter the streets; the traffic congestion experienced by drivers on Montreal roads are definitely looped into the issue.
To most, however, intense traffic and damaged roads are a sad reality of living in Montreal; neither are going to get much better so we should just learn to live with it.
But that may not be true, thanks to a new partnership between the City of Montreal and Waze, a free community-based mapping, traffic, and navigation app owned by Google.
The first city to ever create a formal collaboration with Waze, the partnership is part of a 2-year pilot project that aims to ameliorate Montreal's traffic problems, reports Radio-Canada.
By allying themselves with Waze, the City of Montreal's pilot project aims to provide real-time information on traffic and road conditions to drivers. This will be achieved through the combined information gleaned from the city's physical traffic sensors and Waze's user-inputted traffic data.
For those unfamiliar with Waze (who apparently has 103,000 users in Montreal, notes Radio-Canada), the app is essentially a platform that allows drivers to share any and all traffic and road info in real-time. See a traffic jam, input it into the app, and all other users will be aware of it too.
Now, the City of Montreal will be receiving Waze-data directly.
Anytime a user submits traffic details, the information will be sent to a control room headed by the Centre de gestion de la mobilité urbaine de la Ville de Montréal. This will then allow the City to better control traffic and make more informed decisions on anything road-related, with drivers in mind.
Information directly from the City's traffic cameras and sensors will also be sent to the Waze app, thus providing users with more accurate and extensive information. Details on construction and special events (which may result in road closures) will also be supplied to the app.
In tandem, Waze and the City of Montreal are providing Montreal drivers with the most up-to-date and accurate traffic information available, all of which will be sent right to your smartphone. So if you don't have Waze downloaded, now might be a good time.
Unfortunately, the Waze pilot project is limited to the Ville-Marie area. If the collaboration is successful, more boroughs may be added in the future, though no dates or plans have been specified.