With cruise ship traffic significantly increasing in Galveston over the next year, the port authorities have been thinking of ways to improve traffic conditions around the harbor.
The port aims to decrease traffic congestion and enable guests to make better-informed planning decisions with real-time traffic and roadway data by partnering with the popular navigation app Waze.
By implementing the technology that Waze offers, a two-way data stream will give officials real-time data collected directly from Waze users.
Port of Galveston Partners With Waze
The port authorities in Galveston have signed a new agreement with the popular navigation app Waze to pre-emptively reduce congestion around the harbor areas.
Galveston has plans for a significant increase in cruise ship traffic over the coming months and years, with the opening of the new Royal Caribbean Cruise Terminal and the arrival of several new cruise ships.
With an increase in ships comes an increase in passengers traveling to and from the port, most of whom will travel to Galveston by car. The new partnership with Waze will allow sharing of real-time construction and road closure data, enabling users of the Waze app to plan the most efficient routes.
“We are always looking for opportunities to improve traffic flow in and around the port, especially our cruise terminals, which host more than 1 million passengers a year,” said Rodger Rees, port director and CEO. “The partnership with Waze gives us a great tool to enhance our traffic plans and our clean air initiatives to benefit port users and island residents.”
The app will also allow cruise passengers and ground transportation providers the best routes to specific terminals to minimize traffic congestion with real-time data streams. The port will also be able to add roads and other information that visitors will need, especially now the third cruise terminal at Pier 10 is nearing completion.
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Waze will also enable the Galveston Wharves to achieve its environmental goals. By minimizing congestion and idling and using technology to become a Smart Cruise Port, it also hopes to achieve its goals as a Green Marine-certified port.
Port Mobility Director Julio De Leon said: “We are thrilled to partner with Waze to gain a deeper understanding of real-time conditions. The context Waze gives us in terms of what’s happening and why traffic conditions are being affected in near real-time is invaluable to our traffic planning program as we prepare for growth in our cruise and cargo sectors.”
In the last months, Galveston has been steadily working on improving conditions around the port, which includes significant infrastructure improvements.
330 Port Calls This Year, Increasing Next Year
Galveston Wharves will need to move to technology if it hopes to channel the expected increase in traffic over the following years. Located just 45 minutes sailing from open seas, Galveston is already the fourth most popular cruise port in the United States.
For 2022, the port expects 330 cruise calls, which will increase significantly over the coming months and years. Several cruise lines have revealed plans for extensive use of Galveston’s facilities.
Galveston also has a much closer operational distance to popular western Caribbean cruise destinations such as Cozumel, Costa Maya, and Belize, saving cruise lines fuel costs.
In November, Royal Caribbean will be opening its newest cruise terminal at Pier 10, from where Allure of the Seas will operate starting November 13 and Adventure Of The Seas on November 10. Grandeur of the Seas is already sailing from Galveston, as is Liberty Of The Seas.
Carnival Cruise Line currently operates three ships from Galveston: Carnival Vista, Carnival Breeze, and Carnival Dream. Starting December 2, 2023, Carnival Cruise Line’s newest mega-ship, Carnival Jubilee, will begin operating from Galveston.
Starting October 31, Norwegian Cruise Line’s newest ship, Norwegian Prima will be homeporting from Galveston for one call, with a more permanent base in the city starting December 2023.