Toronto May Have Finally Found a Solution to its Traffic Problem

Ever since, oh, about ever, Toronto has been a hellscape to navigate.

And as is the case with any inconvenience these days, there’s an app for that.

Enter Maze, which touts itself as the world’s largest community-based traffic and navigation app. The City of Toronto recently announced a partnership with the app that would see a two-way traffic data exchange.

“For the first time, the City is sharing its traffic data with Waze and Waze users. This partnership will give our traffic operations centre better visibility into traffic patterns and provide Waze users enhanced information to plan and adjust their commute,” said Toronto Mayor John Tory.

Around 560,000 Torontonians already use Waze to access Toronto’s traffic data in real-time through Waze’s Connected Citizens Program (CCP). Up-to-the-minute incident reports, smart congestion analysis, re-routing, and real-time road closure reports are just some of the program’s functions.

wazeOn a more long-term basis, the City of Toronto will be able to make data-driven infrastructure decisions instead of, say, blindly closing the DVP for repairs on a long weekend. The King Street Pilot Project is a recent example of data-driven urban planning that has so far proven successful in easing congestion. Waze already boasts several case studies to solidify its utility on much larger scales, such as improving traffic during the Rio Olympics and managing congestion in Ghent, Belgium’s city centre.

The hope is that Waze can also disseminate traffic and road closure information for major events. This would be a highly useful endeavour, as any Jays, Leafs, or Raptors fan can attest.

“Waze was founded on the belief that we can outsmart traffic together,” said Mike Wilson, Waze Canada’s country manager.

“Our partnership with the City of Toronto will empower drivers with real-time information on routes, traffic alerts and road closures to get them to their destination on time. Additionally, by leveraging Waze insights, the City will now have greater visibility into traffic patterns and will be able to make better planning decisions.”

We’ll call it a success when we can make it to the cottage on a summer Friday in under three hours.