E-mails, text messages help Calgary commuters avoid gridlock

Subscribers can have updates sent before they hit the road

Workers in Calgary can no longer use the excuse, "I got stuck in traffic," for being late to work. A new traffic update system that e-mails and text messages drivers will help commuters pick alternate routes before getting caught in gridlock.

The service, launched late last month, sends traffic information such as road closures and accidents on major roads to cellphones, BlackBerrys and computers.

Commuters can sign up for the free service and customize the updates they want according to the time of day they travel and the routes they follow.

Commuters can also choose to have the updates delivered before they leave home or work so drivers don't have to check their mobile devices while on the road.

The city of Calgary partnered with Calgary-based Text Traffic Solutions to provide the service after 57 per cent of Calgarians polled in 2007 said they prefer to get traffic information in an e-mail or web-based format.

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