Happy New Year Wazers!

Welcome Back to Work!

This year, we're working even harder to build the community that will collaborate to avoid traffic jams and offer the best real-time routes. By the end of this year we want to make sure we have made a measurable impact against one of the biggest global problems our cities face-- commuter traffic. We look forward to working with you in this endeavor! Good luck and much success to you as you embark on your biggest goals for 2011.

Why Such a Big Problem?

The Texas Transportation Institute estimated that the 75 largest metropolitan areas experienced 3.6 billion vehicle-hours of delay, resulting in 5.7 billion U.S. gallons in wasted fuel and $67.5 billion in lost productivity, or about 0.7% of the nation's GDP. It also estimated that the annual cost of congestion for each driver was approximately $1,000 in very large cities and $200 in small cities.

Yahoo! Health writer Anne Kreamer found that each of us is spending 38 hours a year stuck in traffic -- that's nearly two wasted days!

The stress of sitting in traffic is linked to increased heart rate, high blood pressure, and anxiety. All of that leads to poor health, bad moods, and lower work performance.

Images from waze users 2010.

Major cities around the world are trying new ways to relieve the congestion.
+In Brazil, automobiles have doubled in major cities from 2000 to 2008.

+Toronto has an average of 80 minutes of commute time per day. (Toronto Board of Trade 2010)

+China National Highway 110 traffic jam in Hebei province, China traffic jam of August 2010 is considered the world's worst traffic jam ever, as traffic congestion stretched more than 100 kilometres (62 mi) from August 14 to the 26, including 11 days of total gridlock caused by a combination of road works and thousands of coal trucks from Inner Mongolia’s coalfields that travel daily to Beijing.

+Cities like Bogotá restrict use of vehicles several days each week depending on the last digits of license plates.

+The Netherlands is considering proposals for a "pay per distance travelled" to discourage car driving but has not been implemented yet due to car owner resistance.

And around the world, Waze is becoming a real alternative that doesn't require expensive infrastructure or lengthy approvals. The more people use it, the more effective it is (plus it makes all that time in the car way more fun). So, waze through your commute in 2011!

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