Friday, April 17, 2015

Waze App Is Helpful in the Rio Grande Valley

Lately, I have been using the +Waze app more and more to get around here in the Rio Grande Valley. Granted, the RGV is not quite San Antonio or Houston in terms of traffic. Still, there are areas that get congested during different times of day, which makes it frustrating at times.

In case you are not familiar with Waze, it is a mobile app that calculates the fastest route between your current location and your destination. Waze does this by tracking data sent by users like myself. Their servers recognize patterns and figure out the best route to take based on data sent from others users. If traffic slows down on your route, Waze will even reroute you to a better path.

Normally, you would use GPS to find places you have never visited. Waze can help you find locations like any old GPS; however, Waze is useful even when you know exactly where you are going because it is watching traffic ahead of you.

For example, in the mornings and afternoons, streets near schools get congested because parents are dropping off and picking up their m'hijos at school. Going around those areas can save you a couple of minutes. Waze manages to route around these busy areas so that you aren't stuck waiting behind a line of cars taking turns at the school drop off zone.

Personally, I pick up and drop off my oldest from +The University of Texas-Pan American (UTPA) regularly. Going from Mission to Edinburg will take different amounts of time depending on the time of day. Waze surprises me by picking different paths between home and UTPA. Even driving home from McAllen to Mission takes different paths. Sometimes Waze takes Bicentennial to the Expressway, sometimes it chooses 3 Mile Line.

Every once in a while, Waze will pick what seems like a strange path to get on a highway or to cut through town. It chooses streets that are almost completely empty and get me to my destination faster than I thought possible.

The RGV has sufficient traffic and enough users to make Waze a useful tool for getting around. Of course, the more people who use Waze for even routine drives, the better it gets. Waze definitely has a place in the daily drive. I recommend it.
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