Transportation Management Centre FAQ
The TMC was introduced to better manage traffic situations and analyze reoccurring issues. The TMC brings great situational awareness to the city and to the driver about what's happening in real time on the streets of Winnipeg. This leads to more efficient service delivery and also a better awareness for the driver.
The TMC gathers information from various data feeds including 311, traffic signals management systems, and from the public through Waze. Incident reports are prioritized, information is confirmed, and then details are shared to the public using Waze and Twitter. You can download the free Waze app and take advantage of its dynamic rerouting incident reports and real time updates, or you can choose a more traditional method of listening to the radio. News stations are watching the TMC Twitter feed, reporting and contributing to it to give a better level of information to drivers.
The TMC reports on anything that is affecting travel that it can confirm. The key is quality information: The TMC only wants to report on actual incidents that are occurring, not just reports. This means as a user you get a better level of service because if there is a report from the TMC, it will actually be occurring. The TMC will then report with updates through the duration and let you know when the incident is cleared.
You may have heard a travel report in the past that says something like, "We had a report 40 minutes ago of a stalled car on eastbound Portage, let us know if it's still there." This way of reporting is great initially but becomes inaccurate once there are no updates and can slowly turn into bad information. The TMC wants to provide accurate real time information and this is why if we can't see it or contact an official person to ask for an update, we won't report it. This does mean that you may come across something not reported, so we encourage drivers to report it. Use the Waze app (in a safe and hands-free manner) and tell drivers yourself. That's what's great about Waze: Winnipeggers looking out for Winnipeggers.
The TMC prides itself on actual information. We receive many reports from many various sources, and some are accurate and some are not. Our goal is accurate real time information. If we can't see an incident or contact a reliable source to tell us about it we will not report on it. For this reason you may come across something which is not reported by the TMC. It may be we can't get enough information on it to confirm it or we may not know about it. So use Waze and report it and we will take a look.
Waze is the best way to get the information but it's not the only way. You can visit waze.com and look at the live map or you can look at Twitter when you’re not driving. We use these two outlets because they are a great way to share information with others. We want drivers, radio stations, TV stations and other services to use these to platforms to take our information and get it out to other drivers as quickly and accurately as possible.
Traffic signals provide service for more than one direction and there are potentially as many as 17 different demands on one intersection all wanting service. This could be Transit Priority, a protected left turn or a pedestrian for example. While the signals are designed to move people through as many greens lights as possible, there are always other factors. Where possible we cater to the greatest volume of traffic.
The signals system is very complex and does not allow for such a function. However, we are looking at ways in which we can work towards increasing the level of service by changing/improving the current system.
As a driver you can get access to all the real-time information you want via Waze and Twitter, however, we are always looking to improve traffic flow and are providing changes that assist the driver already. Construction is one example where we have made changes to timings to assist traffic flow. Common traffic snarls are another issue which we address. There is always work going on in the background even when there are no incidents to speak of.
Waze has many features which set it apart from other navigation apps. It combines the best in real time travel information while being as safe as possible. Waze provides you with routing like other navigation apps but what sets it apart is that it has dynamic rerouting around incidents and traffic as they happen. The TMC also provides real time updates on incidents it has confirmed, so all together you can get a great in-depth understanding of what is happening in the street. The TMC plans to introduce new products and concepts in the future to increase the level of information to the driver. These will be put into Waze, so as a Wazer you will have exclusive access to information no one in North America has.
The network of cameras we have are to analyze traffic conditions, review timing changes that are made, and also to act as a confirmation tool and a way to understand what is happening with an incident.
The development of the TMC cost $3.6 million. This included the renovation of an existing City of Winnipeg building and the installation of all equipment and furniture. To put this into perspective, $3.6 million builds 750 metres of new road which will serve only the people who use it. The TMC will serve everyone who drives, cycles and walks in the city and has a longer life expectancy than the street which would need a complete renewal within time.