I-70 Mountain Travel Radio Reaches 40 Percent of Mountain Travelers

February 27, 2015 - Statewide Transportation Plan - STATEWIDE – CDOT’s I-70 Mountain Travel Radio launched this year, and now just six weeks in is already proving to be a success.

During the major storm last Saturday, 40 percent of mountain travelers tuned in to the broadcast to receive the most up-to-date and accurate I-70 travel info.

I-70 Mountain Travel Radio broadcasts every Saturday and Sunday from 6 a.m. to 9 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. to coincide with the peak travel times throughout the winter. Listeners can tune in to the live broadcasts through COTrip.org or the CDOT Mobile app.

“We’re extremely excited about the success we’ve seen with I-70 Mountain Travel Radio,” said Amy Ford, Director of Communications for CDOT. “When the snow hit last weekend, our amazing hosts, Jim Hudson and Nia Bender, brought I-70 travelers the info they needed to learn what was ahead. When travel conditions were at their worst, our hosts went above and beyond what was expected of them, continuing their live broadcasts throughout the entire day on Saturday and Sunday to keep motorists informed.”

On Saturday, Feb. 21, the broadcast received 13,598 unique device connections, accounting for 40 percent of the total traffic volume that passed through the Eisenhower Tunnel (based on January 2015 daily average). On Sunday, Feb. 22, the broadcast received 8,670 unique device connections, accounting for 26 percent of the total traffic volume that passed through the Eisenhower Tunnel (based on January 2015 daily average). In total, the weekend broadcast received 22,268 device connections, an increase of 439 percent from the previous weekend (Feb. 14 and 15).

“Broadcasting right from CDOT’s Traffic Operations Center give us the opportunity to provide the most accurate travel information right as it’s available,” said Bender, one of the I-70 Mountain Travel Radio hosts and veteran Denver traffic reporter. “When I-70 was forced to close on Saturday, we received word that it was closing and were able to report that on-air before any other source had that info out to the public.”

Bender and Hudson also provide traffic updates from the broadcast’s Twitter account, @CDOTonair. Passengers in vehicles can interact with the hosts and send traffic updates they see by using #CDOTonair or by sending a tweet directly to @CDOTonair.

Along with the live I-70 road, weather and traffic condition updates, the broadcast provides information about winter driving tips, carpooling, snow plow safety, and tire safety and discounts. In addition, I-70 Mountain Travel Radio provides information on upcoming events at ski resorts and mountain towns, along with Peak Time Deals – discounts for motorists who choose to stay out of I-70 traffic during the busiest travel times and instead enjoy deals on recreation, lodging and dining throughout the Mountain Corridor.

The I-70 Mountain Travel Radio broadcast complements CDOT’s existing resources for traffic and road condition information throughout the state. Motorists can visit COTrip.org and the CDOT Mobile app, sign up for GovDelivery alerts that offer important travel information, or call 511 anywhere in Colorado for periodically updated road conditions. Also, GoI70.com – hosted by the I-70 Coalition – provides weekly I-70 travel forecasts based on historical data and how weather, construction or events may impact the mountain commute. Finally, CDOT provides travel information and frequent updates through their Facebook and Twitter accounts.

CDOT’s I-70 Mountain Travel Radio is part of the Change Your Peak Drive campaign, which works to improve the I-70 Mountain Corridor by encouraging mountain travelers to change not only the time they drive, but also how they drive. Through public education and strategic partnerships, CDOT works to give motorists the tools they need to be winter ready and know the resources they have for I-70 information. To learn more about the campaign and winter driving tips, visit winter.codot.gov.