Wyoming DOT Notches Record Usage of 511 Systemeditor@aashto.org February 24, 2023 0 COMMENTS
In 2022, the Wyoming Department of Transportation said its 511 travel website – www.wyoroad.info – registered about 2.2 billion site visits for the year; the most “hits” in a calendar year since the department started tracking them several years ago.
[Above image by Wyoming DOT]
The website shows both forecasted and real-time weather-related road impacts as well as data directly from the agency’s weather sensors, snowplow operators and Wyoming Highway Patrol Troopers – all combined into one convenient tool for travelers.
The top visited pages within the site in 2022 were the Closures and Advisories page, followed closely by the I-80 web cameras.
“Every year we try to improve the 511 tools and bring more travel information to the public,” noted Vince Garcia, program manager for Wyoming DOT’s Global Information Systems/Intelligent Transportation System program, in a statement.
“It’s encouraging to see that they continue to be helpful for residents, tourists and commercial vehicle drivers in our state,” he said.
A more active winter has also led to other 511 tool milestones, Garcia added.
For example, when the roads are closed, the Wyoming Travel Authorization Program or W-TAP can help drivers get to their destination when it is deemed safe enough to do so.
W-TAP users must reapply each year to access the program and, as of early February, the program had a record number of nearly 15,000 registered users – of which about 90 percent are Wyoming residents, comprised of commuters, doctors, nurses, and college students, among others.
State departments of transportation across the United States have made key enhancements to their 511 systems over the last several years, often witnessing their own record spikes in system usage.
For example, the Kansas Department of Transportation said it witnessed a major spike in its new KanDrive mobile phone application and the Kansas 511 phone system by motorists over the last two months of 2022.
Those usage spikes follow updates the agency made to both of them in October 2022, which included making the KanDrive app available to download as an App on Android and iPhone Operating System or iOS cell phones.
Meanwhile, the Idaho Transportation Department launched a new Idaho 511 App alongside an update to its 511 website, as well as a new version of the 511 mobile application to their mobile devices. However, the agency said the web address, 511.idaho.gov, and phone number, “dial 511,” stayed the same.
In June 2022, the Wisconsin Department of Transportation added live traffic video feeds to the state’s 511 travel information system, while in December 2021 the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation updated its 511PA travel information service to include the locations of electric vehicle chargers and all low bridges over state roads.
And in February 2021, the Arizona Department of Transportation added a new truck-navigation feature to its Traveler Information 511 website to help commercial vehicle operators more easily plan routes through the state.