Olympic Sized Traffic Congestion Made Easier with Online Tool

I can hardly even imagine what the Burrard Bridge will look like at rush hour when the Olympics are in town.  The city is estimated to swell by a million people for the 17-day period. And according to this article, in anticipation of this Olympic-sized traffic jam, Translink has created and will use i-Move.ca, a Web tool and sort of a Google maps on steroids to manage this issue.  Launched in November of 2007, and working with Ontario-based Fusepoint, the tool provides information about all possible transit modes around the city in real time. Keenan Kitasaka, manager for intelligent transport systems at Translink says the tool will help everyone make better decisions about getting around the city.

It’s not just about the visitors, it’s about the residents who’ll need to know which roads are closed or open so they can get to work.

The iMove tool shows motorists how to avoid traffic jams indicated by red lines on the highway, transit users can check if their bus is running on time and ferry passengers can find out how close the boat is to harbour.

The site has to be accessible by the public 24/7 and also needs to be updated with data from multiple sources in real-time. Through the Regional Condition Reporting System, 11 municipalities in the Vancouver region currently update iMove and seven are soon to be added.  Information fed into iMove includes data pulled from 135 traffic cameras, status information at the border crossing to Seattle, status information on traffic entering two bridges in the city, arrival and departure time at Vancouver International Airport. The Web tool has deep links into the ferry system, links to public and private bus services, Via Rail lines, and to Washington State’s updates on Interstate 5 as it approaches the border.

Other cities like Toronto, Montreal and Calgary have all expressed interest in adopting the technology.