VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. – Virginia Beach has joined the Waze Connected Citizens Program, an everyday driving platform that brings together drivers to outsmart traffic.
The program is designed as a free, two-way data share of publicly available traffic information, the Connected Citizens Program promotes greater efficiency, deeper insights and safer roads for citizens of Virginia Beach along with more than 900 partners around the world.
Waze provides partners with real-time, anonymous, Waze-generated incident and slow-down information directly from the source: the drivers!
In exchange, Virginia Beach provides real-time government-reported construction, crash and road closure data to Waze to return one of the most succinct, thorough overviews of current road conditions today.
The City’s Office of Emergency Management spearheaded the effort with assistance from the Department of Information Technology and the City Attorney’s Office.
“We have been looking forward to this partnership with Waze for quite some time,” stated Erin Sutton, director, Office of Emergency Management. “Having access to real-time conditions and information will be invaluable in helping to manage traffic for large special events, holiday weekends and any type of incident.”
The Connected Citizens program yields even more data, giving local citizens a greater ability to circumvent road closures and traffic jams within the app. During emergency situations, Waze also provides the option to search for nearby shelters and open gas stations, as well as utilize an SOS button to call on other Wazers for roadside assistance.
Virginia Beach can provide Wazers with advanced notice of flooded roadways during inclement weather and situation awareness during major traffic events such as marathons, festivals, parades and holiday weekends that will affect their daily routes.
“We are excited to welcome the City of Virginia Beach into the Connected Citizens Program,” said Thais Blumenthal de Moraes, Global Business Development Lead, Connected Citizens Program at Waze. “Working together, we are making a combined effort to learn from one another and provide local citizens with the innovative mobility tools they need to have a safer, more enjoyable commute.”
It is critical that prospective partners show their dedication to citizen engagement and commit to use Waze data to improve city efficiency. Partners can also measure and share their findings with other municipal organizations, as a way of developing case studies that serve as keys to a global set of improvements which can be made for collective mobility.