RIDOT bringing travel times back to highway signs


EAST PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Drivers on Monday will start to notice a helpful change to the digital signs along Rhode Island’s highways.

In an effort to keep people informed while keeping their eyes on the road, the R.I. Department of Transportation (RIDOT) will once again be displaying a live feed of travel times on its highway message boards.

The agency on Monday announced a new partnership with Waze, a GPS navigation app that warns drivers of any traffic impacts in real time through reports from users on the road.

As part of its Connected Citizens Program, Waze will provide travel time data to RIDOT in exchange for information on crashes, construction work and other road conditions, according to RIDOT spokesperson Charles St. Martin.

RIDOT previously paid $200,000 per year for travel time information, St. Martin said.

“We’re pleased to be able to leverage the power of this travel information, which most of us have access to through our smartphones, so it can be shared with everyone and get these message to drivers quickly and safely,” RIDOT Director Peter Alviti, Jr. said in a statement. “It’s also another legacy issue we’ve tackled, saving money for taxpayers while providing improved service.”

Starting on Monday, travel times started appearing on three message boards on I-95 North – between Route 4 and Exit 10 in Warwick, between Exits 15 and 16 in Cranston and at the Connecticut state line in Hopkinton – and one on Route 4 south, between exits 6 and 5 in North Kingstown.

RIDOT will be making that information available on more of its signs throughout the fall, according to St. Martin.

In addition, RIDOT will begin renumbering the exits on I-295 later this week to comply with federal regulations.

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