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Ventura County partners with navigation app to improve drive times

Ventura County is turning to a popular navigation app to improve drive times.

The Ventura County Board of Supervisors voted this week to approve the county’s partnership with the “Waze Connected Citizens Program.”

The program allows Google, which owns Waze, to access traffic data. That data is then collected and analyzed so local governments can take steps to improve drive times, maintain roads, and make planning decisions. Officials say no personal information is shared.

“Collecting traffic data can be expensive,” said Ventura County Chief Information Officer Brian Ganley. “Instead of using County staff or contractors to collect this data, Waze can report user-reported traffic and road information, including traffic jams, accidents, hazards, construction, potholes, stopped vehicles, objects on the road, and missing traffic signs, all completely free of charge.”

The county says the new partnership will improve safety for road workers, first responders, and the rest of the community. They’ll get better data on drive times, speed information, and traffic volume.

Eventually, the plan is for first responders to be able to share information that could help re-route drivers if there’s an emergency that is impacting traffic.

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