Pennsylvania Department of Transportation—511PAConnect

After a January 2016 storm dumped several feet of snow across Pennsylvania and stranded hundreds of motorists on I-76 for more than 24 hours, PennDOT and the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission developed 511PAConnect, a first of its kind trapped-traveler emergency communications tool (not a mobile app) that allows incident response teams to communicate via automated phone or text message directly with motorists who are trapped in a roadway backup. The tool also gives emergency crews a clearer picture of who is sitting in a trapped vehicle and where they are, so agencies can better plan for the use of resources. Upon activation, a push message comparable to electronic Amber Alerts is sent to all phones in the incident area. This message provides motorists who are impacted with instructions on how to participate and receive further information by call or text throughout the incident. The $170,000 tool has already helped thousands of travelers in need of assistance.
511PAConnect--Pennsylvania DOT