BUFFALO N.Y. (WIVB) – The City of Buffalo introduced its new GPS tracking tool for snow plows during last week’s snowstorm, but leaders say there were some problems with the system.

News 4 received reports of the maps not updating, and roads being marked as plowed when they were not.

“I think it was literally the perfect storm. You had a lot of traffic going to the site, I talked to the mayor today about the GPS system and they are doing everything in their power to find out exactly what happened,” said Common Council President Darius Pridgen.

The city was all set to use a new GPS tracking tool to help road crews clear out the streets and people could check online to see what roads were snow plowed and which ones weren’t.
However, during last week’s snow storm, the system malfunctioned.

Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown spoke earlier this week about his frustrations with the system.

“Obviously we’re not happy that there were failures in the system. The system was not reliable for this storm, that’s the fact,” Brown said during a news conference on clean up efforts Monday. “I would have liked to not see the GPS system fail. I would have liked to have not seen that malfunction.”

“I think everybody was disappointed, I think citizens were disappointed, the administration was disappointed, council was disappointed but it’s mechanical and it’s new,” Pridgen told News 4.

Pridgen says besides the technical glitches, another problem was that many of the plows on the roads were private contractors that did not have the GPS technology. Any work they did would not be shown on the tracking website.

“We’re going to have much more winters so I don’t think we will have any problems hopefully in the future by learning what the problem was this time,” Pridgen said.

Sarah Minkewicz is an Emmy-nominated reporter and Buffalo native who has been a part of the News 4 team since 2019. Follow Sarah on Twitter @SarahMinkewicz and click here to see more of her work.