While all Atlantans are certainly bemoaning the additional recent traffic crunch, the silver lining of the I-85 collapse may be additional resources and education on the many alternative commuting options the city does have. From bicycle rentals to the Atlanta Streetcar, there are options for those looking to save emissions — and oftentimes, time and money.
The City of Atlanta has launched the new CommuteATL website, which uses data from a number of partners to aggregate these resources. Features include real-time scheduling for Atlanta Streetcar, MARTA (both bus and train), and Relay Bike Share stations throughout the city. MARTA stations also display parking data so commuters know which stations have spots and which are already full.
“For the next several weeks, the City of Atlanta asks the public to choose transit, tele-commute, and use ride-sharing services as much as possible,” Deputy Chief Operating Officer and Public Works Commissioner William Johnson said in a statement. “We hope CommuteATL will assist people as they make plans to travel to work, to school, or to any of the special events happening in our city. As we work to mitigate traffic congestion, our primary focus is preserving access for our first responders and to hospitals. We want everyone to make it to their destination safely, and we hope this new tool can help in this effort.”
For those who do need to drive, the site incorporates real-time traffic data from Waze to display road closures, construction work, accidents, and current traffic conditions. This will help commuters as city engineers have been tasked to make real-time adjustments to traffic signals to keep cars moving on the major in-town roads.
— Unusual Traffic ATL (@WazeTrafficATL) April 17, 2017
In 2016, Atlanta partnered with Waze for the first time through a data-sharing partnership within the Waze Connected Citizenship Program.
The city also has a partnership with Esri, a mapping and geospatial analytics tool, which allowed them to build out the real-time mapping features of the platform. Using Esri’s ArcGIS software, CommuteATL is able to pull data from private partners, like Waze, and connect all this information together.
This site is another step in the direction of Atlanta’s move towards becoming a Smart City— public-private partnerships like the Waze connection or the recent pilot program with waste industry disruptor Rubicon are examples of this. And smart infrastructure companies are increasingly targeting Atlanta as a place to be as the city continues to double down on using connectivity, data, and AI to make citizens lives easier.
CommuteATL will continue to add new features.
“CommuteATL.com is a place for Atlanta residents to get real-time awareness of traffic and road conditions in the region and discover the various transportation options they have to move around our city. Our team is excited about continuing to add additional real-time, interactive mapping features to the site over the coming weeks,” said Samir Saini, Chief Information Officer for the City of Atlanta.
Photos via City of Atlanta and Atlanta Streetcar.