511PA Connect

What is 511PA Connect?

511PA Connect is an emergency communication tool provided by PennDOT and the Pennsylvania Turnpike which is designed to communicate with trapped travelers.

It facilitates direct communication between incident response teams and motorists stuck in traffic jams through automated phone calls or text messages.

By providing real-time insights into the occupants and locations of trapped vehicles, 511PA Connect enables emergency crews to optimize resource allocation effectively.

Unlike traditional mobile applications, 511PA Connect requires no prior download or action from motorists.

Activation of 511PA Connect occurs exclusively during prolonged emergency roadway closures expected to last four hours or more.

Upon activation, the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency (PEMA) initiates a notification to all mobile devices within the affected area.

This notification furnishes impacted motorists with instructions on how to participate and stay informed throughout the duration of the incident.


Benefits to travelers

  • Stay informed with official updates and the latest relevant information delivered in the traveler's preferred method (automated phone call, text message, or the website).
  • Avoid the hassle of searching through social media postings to check information of the affected area.
  • Consistent communication with travelers throughout the event reassures travelers that the agency is aware of them and their situation.

Benefits to travelers


How 511PA Connect Works

  • PEMA initiates a Wireless Emergency Alert (WEA) message, akin to an Amber Alert, specifically geo-targeting individuals that are stuck in a congested line of trapped vehicles.
  • Affected travelers are guided to the public website, where they can sign up for closure updates, provide their phone number, and additional details like vehicle type and occupants.
  • Travelers affected by the situation choose their preferred method of receiving updates and safety information, be it through text messages or automated phone calls.
  • Affected Travelers can also provide their cell phone location, enabling the incident response team to gain a clearer understanding of the backlog, trapped individuals, and their precise positions.
  • No personal information is requested by the system and phone numbers are deleted once the incident concludes.
  • Travelers within a tenth of a mile of the closure should receive the Wireless Emergency Alert (WEA) message.

511Pa Connect1

511Pa Connect1


511PA Connect is a great traveler-communications tool which helps enhance agencies' situational awareness, this includes:

  • Providing a clearer understanding of the number and whereabouts of trapped travelers.
  • Improving insights into the types of vehicles affected and the number of passengers within each vehicle.