Downloading the App
The 511PA mobile app can be downloaded from Google Play or the iTunes store. You can find the app by clicking or scanning the QR codes.
What is 511PA?
511PA is Pennsylvania's official travel information service which provides travelers with reliable, current traffic and weather information, as well as links to other transportation services. 511PA is designed to help motorists reach their destination in the most efficient manner when traveling in Pennsylvania.
What is the coverage area of 511PA?
The 511PA mobile application covers all PennDOT - and Pennsylvania Turnpike-operated roadways for roughly 40,000 miles of roadway. Traffic incidents and construction alerts are reported on all roadways and traffic speeds are reported on approximately 15,000 miles of roadway.
Is there information for other sources other than PennDOT?
Yes, users can opt to hear information from select neighboring states – currently 511 information from NJ and West Virginia are available.
Just click into the setting on the app, then tap "Edit Location Preferences" (on iOS devices) or "Location Advisory Preferences" (on Android devices), and "check" the state advisories you’d like to hear. When you drive near or into those states, traveler advisories within your range will continue to be broadcast to you.
What types of services are available to the traveler on 511PA?
With 511PA, travelers can find such information such as:
- Traffic conditions;
- Traffic Speeds;
- Live traffic camera images;
- Highway construction updates;
- Winter road conditions;
- Weather conditions and alerts; and
- Links to other travel resources.
From where does the information originate?
In an effort to provide the most reliable information to travelers, 511PA does not update until PennDOT is able to verify that an incident is occurring either through its traffic-camera network or through confirmed reports from state and local police. Crashes and other delays beyond PennDOT’s control, such as vehicle breakdowns, are not immediately available on the system and travelers may encounter traffic delays before that information is posted on 511PA. Other sources of information include the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission, the National Weather Service, and private traffic information services.
Is the information accurate?
PennDOT provides this information as a public service based upon reports collected from PennDOT staff and other sources. However, these reports are based on the information available at the time of publication and cannot be guaranteed as to accuracy or timeliness. Actual conditions may vary from those reported, though every effort is made to keep information comprehensive and current.
As weather and road conditions change rapidly, the information reported through 511PA should not be used as the only factor in determining your travel decisions. Motorists are cautioned to be alert to changing conditions and adjust their driving accordingly.
How does the application work?
Launch the hands-free 511PA application and select “Driving Mode” before you put your car in drive. You will hear active PennDOT advisories that are near you. Now put down the phone and focus on driving. There’s nothing on your phone that you need to touch or read. Just listen for travel alerts.
The 511PA app will remain "on" while you drive, automatically activating when you approach an area impacted by a PennDOT advisory. The app will broadcast any travel alerts for reported conditions within a set mile-range (that you can set for yourself) of your current location.
Conditions will be broadcast once, and then the broadcast stream will go quiet until
- there is an update to an advisory near you; or
- you have come within range of another advisory; or
- a set time period has elapsed (that you choose) and you want to re-hear all advisories that are still in range.
While the app has a Traffic Map and additional features in the "More Features" section, PennDOT reminds motorists to not interact with the app while driving.
What happens if I get a phone call?
If you get a call, or make a call while a travel alert is playing, the alert will pause, and will resume playing when the call has ended. You can select to hear advisories while you are on and active call, provided that you have a data plan that permits simultaneous data and talk.