Long Island Rail Road partners with Waze for crossing safety initiative

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NEW YORK – The MTA and Waze are joining forces to improve safety for Long Island Rail Road customers.

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) has announced the start of a partnership with Waze, the traffic and navigation app, to improve safety at railroad crossings of the Long Island Rail Road.

“Safety is a core value at the MTA and its commuter railroads,” said MTA Chairman Joseph Lhota, “for our customers and our employees -- as well as for those in the communities we serve. We are delighted to continue to go above and beyond railroad crossing safety requirements, to announce a new safety initiative, in partnership with Waze, to alert motorists using the app that they are approaching a grade crossing.”

Both railroads in their histories have implemented mandated grade crossing warning systems, by ensuring each public crossing has the required gates, red flashing lights and warning bells -- in addition to train horns blowing as they approach. This is the first feature of its kind to debut on the app and is tied to LIRR’s ongoing collaboration with Waze as part of the Connected Citizens Program – a free, two-way data share of publicly available traffic information.

This Thursday, on the 10th International Level Crossing Awareness Day, Waze will integrate a railroad crossing warning to alert users at a set of ten pilot locations across Long Island. The rollout will continue until all 296 LIRR grade crossing locations are live on the app.

The Ten LIRR/Waze Pilot Locations:
  • Bay Shore - 3rd Avenue
  • Deer Park - Commack Road
  • Deer Park - Executive Drive
  • Farmingdale - Main Street
  • Hampton Bays - Ponoquogue
  • Hewlett - West Broadway
  • Holbrook - Holbrook Road
  • Oyster Bay - Willis Avenue
  • Sayville - Snedicor Avenue
  • Wyandanch - 18th Street
“As a community-based app, our navigation technology and features are constantly evolving and we are enthusiastic about our work with LIRR to implement a new tool that will help promote driver safety near Long Island railroad crossings,” said Thais Blumenthal, Global Connected Citizens Program Lead. “Our Connected Citizens Program is all about leveraging data and insights to inform and improve city infrastructure. As a new partner, LIRR is harnessing information that is relevant to its community and improving their experience, which we are happy to help make a reality.”

The partnership comes after an aggressive review of potential railroad crossing safety enhancements by the MTA and the LIRR has recently taken additional steps to improve grade crossing safety. Last month, President Eng announced an accelerated plan to install flexible, four-feet high reflective delineators as well as extended roadway markings and additional reflective devices to better alert drivers, who may become confused by GPS directions while driving in darkness or inclement weather, that they should not make a turn onto the tracks.

– From a Metropolitan Transportation Authority press release.

NEWSWIRETrains News Wire

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