Pa. Turnpike teams up with Waze

MIDDLETOWN, Pa. (WHTM) – The Turnpike Operations Center is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Fifty cameras along the 550 miles of the turnpike show operators what is happening on the roadway.

“We monitor everything that happens on the turnpike from traffic incidents, to lane closures, street lights, service plazas. If something happens we know about it here,” said Tim Scanlon, director of traffic engineering and operations.

The Turnpike already has an app called Trip Talk to help pass that information on to drivers, but now they are also teaming up with Waze.

The free crowdsourcing app lets those driving on the road give real-time updates on things like delays, accidents, construction, disabled cars, and debris.

“What it means is we find out about incidents and accidents more quickly so that the Operations Center we can respond more quickly. That makes your drive safer and you will get more information about your drive,” said Bob Taylor, manager of traffic operations.

It will be a two-way data sharing street.

“We are also providing Waze with data so that they can provide it to travelers on the turnpike more quickly,” said Scanlon.

“For us it was a no-brainer because it was no cost. We are not exchanging money, we’re just sharing information,” Taylor said.

They advise letting your passengers do the updates, but if you are driving solo there is another option.

“There are voice commands on the system. As a driver, that prompts you to report things. So, there is a hands-free mode that you can go into,” Scanlon said.

There are already 400,000 Waze users in Pennsylvania. The Pennsylvania Turnpike is the first tollbooth authority to partner with WAZE.

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