GPS might help unclog rush hour highways

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Sci/Tech

A new pilot program taking place in the Seattle area could help pave the way to less clogged highways during rush hour.

The average rush hour commuter spends 47 hours a year in traffic -- up from just 16 hours in 1982.

The pilot program, using global positioning system devices, is supposed to cut that time in traffic.

For the next few months, the Seattle drivers will trek around with a GPS device attached to their dashboards that will determine the location of the vehicle, when they are driving and if the vehicle is on a road being tolled.

Drivers will be charged varying tolls depending on when they drive -- higher premiums during rush hour, and lower tolls for other times. The study will examine if people change behavior based on the tolls.

Commuters in the San Francisco-Oakland area spend 72 hours a year commuting, while those in Boulder, Colo., spend 9 hours.

UPI