Tucson News Now

TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -A drive through Tucson could land motorists a gift card or help to plant a tree thanks to a new app in the Old Pueblo.
Metropia, which is free to download, offers incentives to drivers for planning their trips instead of simply rushing out the door and adding to traffic. Yi-Chang Chiu, the apps founder and a professor at the University of Arizona, said Tucson is a great place for Metropia to make a difference.
“This community is open to new ideas,” he said.
The idea behind Metropia is to collect the data from drivers in Tucson in order to improve traffic flow and street design. Users input their destination and the app maps out the best route, like a GPS navigation tool, but there's more to it.
Metropia also offers the time you'll spend in your car depending on the time...

Although we know that alternative modes of transportation are easier on the environment and cut down on traffic congestion, sometimes you just need to drive to work. On those days, you might get caught in an unexpected gridlock despite the best of planning.

For those days and every day, here are some measures to take that will help you get the best gas mileage possible surrounding your workday, whether it be a 9-to-5, a 10-to-7, a graveyard, an early morning shift, or something in between.

  • Let your engine warm up.

Old cars aren’t the only ones that need to warm up before you start driving. Although you can certainly get into a newer car and go without letting the engine heat up, your car will run more efficiently if you give it some time to get properly pumping.

  • Don’t drive too fast....

The New York City Department of Transportation (DOT) is starting a pilot program called “Drive Smart,” which uses technology innovations to help drivers save money, save time, and drive more safely. DOT is seeking 400 qualified drivers to join the pilot program. Drivers will receive a custom On Board Diagnostic Device (OBD-II) from DOT. Once connected, the device will collect and transmit data from a car’s on board computer directly to the driver’s smartphone and to the Drive Smart secure cloud server, where it will be used to provide a range of services back to the driver free of charge. Applicants can apply at www.drivesmartnyc.com.

“The ‘Drive Smart’ technology pilot will help drivers save money and drive more safely, and...

There are certain times of the day when there is always going to be a lot of traffic. While this can’t be avoided with the number of people working 8- or 9-to-5 shifts, there are ways your own driving habits can help minimize the magnitude of congestion in your area.

Even if other drivers are causing or contributing to the problem, your choices can get things moving starting from where your car stops. Here’s how.

  1. Easy on the brakes.

It’s not hard to stop every time you see other drivers’ red lights come on in traffic. In fact, it’s good to pay attention to the cars in front of you and know when they are braking, slowing down, or speeding up.

But hitting your brakes frequently helps create a traffic accordion as drivers behind you replicate your movement. This slows everybody down in the long run and makes congestion worse....

There is nothing good about traffic congestion; that is something everyone can agree on. It is bad for the environment, hard on your car and your car's gas mileage, and rough on your body.

But what about your brain? Researchers have been studying the effects of traffic congestion on the human mind over the past few decades.

While they haven't yet found anything that is fully conclusive, the scientists have found some disturbing correlations. Here are some of their findings.

1. Congestion can cause stress.

Of course! Whether you're late getting somewhere or really just want to get home, stalling at an intersection while the light turns green more than once can make anyone itch with anxiety.

But stress itself can cause changes to your behavior, personality, and ability to make decisions. Studies have even suggested links from everyday...

Austin Flooding ATXFloods Mobile App

Metropia wants to keep Central Texas drivers safe, which is why it has integrated with ATXfloods to provide its mobile app users with updates on low water crossings across Central Texas.

According to the City of Austin’s Watershed Protection Department, about 75 percent of flood fatalities occur in vehicles. By implementing the ATXfloods application programming interface (API), app users will have access to the latest low water crossing updates to help them avoid flooded roads.

“We want drivers to be safe at all times. By implementing the ATXfloods’ API, Metropia app users not only receive critical road closure...

You leave the office, get to the freeway, and suddenly chaos strikes with citywide traffic delays. Remember the Highway 99 salmon truck crash in Seattle, Washington, that shut down nearly the entire city for a whopping nine hours this May? You can never be sure what sort of long wait you’ll be in for.

Although chances are good no salmon trucks will overturn on the highway in other parts of the country, the notion of nightmare traffic gridlock can be daunting. But being caught unaware by such a scenario doesn’t have to be every bit as miserable as it sounds.

If you climb into your car every day prepared for the worst, your commute will always be that much better. Here are a few tips to help you stay comfortable and nonplussed when other forces take traffic out of control.

1. Keep an emergency kit on hand.

Traffic or not, it’s always a good...

Cyclovia Tucson: Spend less time in the car, more outside with Metropia!


Sunday, Apr. 19th, 2015 | 10am - 3pm | Downtown to South Tucson

Join Metropia at Cyclovia Tucson to assist in their week-long Earth Day effort to plant 100 trees! Metropia app users here in Tucson have been improving their commutes and helping the environment by reducing CO2, so Metropia has decided to contribute even more to reforestation efforts. Metropia will be planting up to 100 trees with the help of the Tucson community and American Forests. Efforts will begin at Tucson’s Earth Day Festival and continue for the following week.

Wondering how you can help?

• Shorten 5 of your weekly commutes with the app and Metropia will plant a tree for you!

• Use the Metropia app to...

Earth Day Festivals and Earth Week: Help Metropia plant 100 trees for Tucson & Austin


Saturday, Apr. 18th, 2015 | 12pm-6pm | Historic Brown Hangar | Austin, TX
Saturday, Apr. 18th, 2015 | 9am-2pm | Reid Park | S. Country Club Road | Tucson AZ

Metropia is excited to be a part of the annual Earth Day Festivals in Austin and Tucson, and to celebrate they're planting up to 100 trees for Tucson and Austin.

While the Metropia app offers a myriad of eco-smart features, one of the most insightful is their “CO2 Saved” tree-odometer, which allows users to keep track of the pounds of CO2 they’ve saved using Metropia’s routes. Metropia then plants a tree with American Forests for the user once they’ve reached 100 lbs of CO2 saved. Users have already started making excellent progress towards planting new trees since the Metropia app launch in March.


Public-Private Partnership Shares Real-Time Updates on SXSW Traffic


March 18th, 2015 - Austin, Texas The Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority and Metropia have formed a public-private sector collaboration with the Austin Transportation Department to help Austinites and out-of-towners get around during South by Southwest (SXSW). With more than 100 people moving to the Austin region every day, traffic is already congested. During big events like SXSW it can be even worse. Metropia – an innovative traffic app that works directly with local governments to reduce congestion – can help.

The Austin Transportation Department is working with Metropia during SXSW to disseminate real-time information on traffic conditions to the general public via Twitter. Locals and visitors can track #SXSWtraffic and #ATXtraffic to get...