02/25/2016Metropia tests powerful app which will make El Paso less congested, more connectedPR NewswireMetropia El Paso
El Paso, TX

500 drivers will be first to get app giving data to software developers, transportation planners

EL PASO, Texas, Feb. 25, 2016 -- Metropia's powerful next generation transportation app is coming to El Paso.

Unlike other travel transportation apps, Metropia suggests the best routes and the best times to leave so you can avoid congestion. But Metropia goes further — connecting to our community in a way that no other transportation app can. By signing up, you can cut your CO2 emissions, save time and fuel, earn rewards from cool local businesses and even contribute to reforestation efforts.

Metropia's launch in El Paso is a joint project of the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT), the Camino Real Regional Mobility Authority (CRRMA) and the El Paso Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO). But Metropia won't just help drivers who download the app. Because of this innovative partnership, crowd-sourced data collected by drivers will assist with the El Paso MPO and TxDOT traffic models. Those models will help TxDOT, the CRRMA and the MPO make the best decisions possible about our transportation infrastructure.

"Before Metropia is available to everyone in the El Paso region, 500 road-savvy drivers will get an advance opportunity to participate in the Metropia Pioneer Program," said Yi-Chang Chiu, Ph.D., founder of Metropia. "They'll have exclusive access to download the app, make suggestions about how to make the app even more powerful, and engage with Metropia developers."

While Metropia is already helping drivers find commuting solutions in Tucson and Austin, it also has a long-standing El Paso connection. Chiu is a former engineering professor at the University of Texas at El Paso. He helped design the roundabout at University Avenue and Sun Bowl Drive on the UTEP campus.

Drivers interested in the Pioneer Program can visit www.metropia.com/ElPaso to sign-up.

"We're bringing Metropia to El Paso because drivers need innovative solutions to the mobility challenges associated with our community's continued growth," said Raymond Telles, Executive Director of the CRRMA. "We believe building a less congested and more connected community is key to making El Paso a better place to live and work."

According to an analysis of traffic data by the Texas Department of Transportation, three of the most congested stretches of freeway in Texas are in El Paso County according to TxDOT's 2015 Top 100 Congested Roadways listing. Delays associated with that congestion costs us $41 million each year, according to TxDOT.

"Given the level of construction in El Paso over the next four years, we anticipate Metropia to be a valuable tool to help people avoid the most congested areas," said Bob Bielek, District Engineer, TxDOT. "Pioneer users who actively give feedback will help make the app successful."

TxDOT is also currently working on several major freeway projects in El Paso including Go10 and the Border West Expressway. Other major projects are planned on I-10, Montana Avenue, and Spur 601.