R.I. partners with Waze to provide real-time traffic data

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Rhode Island Messge BoardThe Rhode Island Department of Transportation has joined Waze’s Connected Citizens Program, in which drivers can anonymously report traffic incidents to alert other drivers through the Waze app.

RIDOT can then use that information to update its digital highway signs. The agency says the new partnership will save it $200,000, as Waze does not charge for the data.

In exchange, RIDOT gives Waze real-time construction, crash and road-closure data, the agency says.

RIDOT began using the Waze data on four of its highway message boards November 20. The information provides drivers with estimated travel times to various locations.

Three of the message boards are on Interstate 95 north: at the Connecticut state line in Hopkinton, at the Cowesett Road overpass between Route 4 and Exit 10 in Warwick, and at the Milford Street overpass between Exits 15 and in Cranston. The other message board is on Route 4 south between Exits 6 and 5 in North Kingstown.

RIDOT says it plans to add signs to the travel time program through the fall.