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Wednesday, September 2, 2009

PennDOT to Launch 511PA

On Friday, Sept. 4, Pennsylvania travelers can take their “Travel Info to Go” as PennDOT officially launches its 511 system — 511PA.

511PA provides free, 24-hour information services including traffic delay warnings, weather forecasts, regional tourism information, and links to transit agencies and major airports. The service is available by calling 511 from cellular phones and landlines or through the Internet by visiting www.511PA.com.

“Travelers log nearly 295 million miles on Pennsylvania roads each day and although the resources are simply not available to build our way out of traffic congestion, 511PA offers reliable information to help travelers make smart planning decisions and minimize travel delays,” PennDOT Secretary Allen D. Biehler, P.E. said.

Users are also able to register through the Web site to receive personalized traveler alerts, provided through e-mail and text messaging.

The 511PA roadway network includes all 1,759 miles of interstate including the Pennsylvania Turnpike, as well as other major roadways in Harrisburg, Philadelphia and Pittsburgh. Traffic information for the majority of this network includes incident reports such as crashes, construction activities and, starting in November, winter road conditions.

Additionally, average traffic speeds are available for several interstates and other major roadways in urban areas.

To provide the most reliable information, 511PA will be updated as PennDOT verifies that an incident is occurring either through its network of more than 440 traffic cameras or through confirmed reports from state and local police. Crashes and other delays beyond PennDOT’s control, such as vehicle breakdowns, are not available on the system immediately, and travelers may encounter traffic delays before that information is posted on 511PA.

PennDOT encourages motorists to not call 511PA while driving. Callers should safely pull off the road to call the system, or check for travel delays before heading out.
PennDOT will continue to enhance 511PA and travelers are encouraged to provide feedback on the system by visiting www.511PA.com.

The Federal Communications Commission designated 511 as the nationwide three-digit telephone number for traveler information. Pennsylvania joins 35 states that already have established 511 services.

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