Toronto and Waze Teaming Up to Curb Congestion

Toronto is hoping a new partnership with Waze will help ease the city’s gridlock.

Mayor John Tory announced the city will share its own real-time traffic and road data with Waze to help motorists avoid road closures, construction and traffic jams.

Google-owned Waze will send user-reported collisions and lane blockages to the city for its own traffic management systems, like electronic highway signs, representing a reciprocal relationship between Toronto and the community-based traffic and navigation app.

“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 Mayor Tory in a statement.

The city will also leverage Waze’s anonymous driver data and traffic insights to identify traffic patterns and guide infrastructure planning decisions.

Tory teased the new partnership with Waze in June as part of his Smart Streets Plan to fight Toronto’s heavy traffic and curb road congestion. Montreal was the first Canadian city to team up with Waze in April 2016, and more than a dozen cities have since rolled out their own partnerships.

“Over the last three years, we have finally focused on fighting traffic in Toronto and improving commute times. I am determined to build on the progress we’ve made and continue the fight each and every day,” Tory added.

Waze will also post city traffic and road closure information for major events, highway maintenance and pilot projects, like Toronto’s King Street Transit Pilot that launched last week, adding new traffic signs and rules for drivers.

While Google Maps and Waze updated its driving navigation to match the new protocol along King Street, it took five days for Apple Maps to reflect the changes.

“I’m using it all the time and without question. Waze gives you information you wouldn’t otherwise have and allows you to make changes to the route that you’re taking using information in real time,” Tory said at a news conference today.

Toronto currently has an estimated 560,000 active Waze users, the app’s largest user base in the country.