XM Satellite Radio is adding Boston to its group of dedicated 24-hour traffic and weather channels available nationwide. The Boston channel is number sixteen of 21 planned traffic and weather channels. It offers: continuously updated information from roadside sensors, local eyewitness reports, and updates from state and local police fire departments. Traffic Pulse technology offers travel times and average speeds for major roadways. Amber Alerts and other public safety alerts are on the air and printed on the XM radio display.
The Boston channel on XM covers roadways across the metro area, including I-93, I-95, Route 128, I-495, Route 3, Route 1, the Mass Pike, Storrow Drive and the Southeast Expressway. XM's traffic experts also cover the I-95 corridor to New York City.
Why Boston? Because its traffic congestion is on the rise, according to the satcaster.
Seventy-five percent of Boston's principal streets are congested during rush hour, putting Boston in a three-way tie with Washington, and Chicago for the most congested principal streets in the nation, according to a recent study by Texas A&M University.
The average rush-hour traveler in Boston spent 58 hours stuck in traffic in 2001, a 25% percent increase over the prior five years, the study says.
XM Traffic and weather channels are available for these markets: Boston, Washington, New York City, Los Angeles, Dallas-Ft. Worth, Chicago, Houston, Detroit, Philadelphia, Phoenix, San Francisco, Tampa-St. Petersburg, Orlando, Baltimore, Pittsburgh and St. Louis. Channels for the five remaining markets (Atlanta, Miami-Ft. Lauderdale, Minneapolis-St. Paul, Seattle and San Diego) will be introduced later in 2004.