Owen H. Johnson

July 12, 2012

Improved Website and New Mobile App Comes as NY Works Projects Get Under Way Across the State

Statewide Effort Includes PSA to Remind New Yorkers to Check 511NY Before Hitting The Road

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced a new, updated 511NY, New York’s one-stop travel information service intended to help drivers avoid traffic on roads and highways throughout the state. As the NY Works road and bridge projects get under way across the state, putting thousands of New Yorkers back to work and upgrading our states aging infrastructure, Cuomo said it is important for New Yorkers to stay informed about the progress of these projects and any traffic tie ups that may result. This new interactive statewide effort includes a Public Service Announcement (PSA) aimed at reminding New Yorkers to check the updated 511NY website before getting on the road and to ensure the safety of both the drivers and road crews.

With a revamped website, new mobile apps, improved social media connections including using Twitter and Facebook and additional alert features, the 511NY service will give drivers real-time updates about construction trouble spots and bridge construction work that is now under way as part of the Governor’s NY Works program. The updated 511NY site will also allow users to personalize their maps with familiar routes so that they do not have to repeatedly search for updates.

"Through our NY Works program, we are going to invest billions of dollars in infrastructure projects across the state that will create thousands of new good jobs and rebuild our states gaining infrastructure," said Governor Cuomo. "With summer just beginning, it is important that drivers stay updated on these projects so they know of any traffic tie ups or backups before they get on the road. Upgrades to our 511 system and the new PSA will make it even easier for New Yorkers and our visitors to travel smarter and more efficiently, whether they are heading to work or on vacation. I encourage travelers to make use of this helpful service."

"The New NY Works for Safer Roads" PSA television campaign was produced and shot by Empire State Development (ESD) at New York State Department of Transportation (DOT) work sites in the Capital Region. The 30 second spot will air on most television stations state wide starting this week.

John Corlett, Chairman of the AAA Legislative Committee said, "The updated 511NY website and app will significantly help travelers throughout the summer by giving them advanced notice of construction, closings and poor weather conditions. This information allows them to seek alternative routes or travel at different times in order to avoid delays. But most importantly, it will remind New Yorkers to travel safely. The updated 511NY website and app, together with the PSA shows that Governor Cuomo is taking the necessary steps to ensure the safety of both travelers and road crews."

511NY is New York State's official traffic, travel, and transit information source. The 511NY site and mobile app offers free, 24/7, statewide real-time traffic and transit information for all of New York State. It also offers a transit trip planner, camera views, as well as weather alerts and forecasts. New features available at — www.511ny.org — will include additional mobile app features, bridge and border crossing times, new notifications on the home page, and an interface that is easier to navigate. In addition, the new 511NY site will enable New Yorkers to personalize their maps with My511NY, which allows users to save familiar routes so that they do not have to repeatedly search for updates on the same route.

NYSDOT has added heightened, more visible alerts to the home page for emergency notifications for travelers. In the event of emergencies impacting a large number of New Yorkers, users do not need to venture further than the home page to view information critical to their families.

The new website also adds border crossing times between New York State and Ontario, Canada, to the 511NY website and telephone. On the Web, users can go to 511ny.org and select the "Major Crossings" layer on the traffic map. The website displays bridge crossing times for both directions between the United States and Canada on the Peace, Rainbow and Lewiston-Queenston bridges.

Additionally, the upgrade enhances the existing My511NY service, which allows users to personalize information relevant to their own commute or frequent trips. The service is available on the Web, via traditional telephone, and soon a new smartphone app for iPhone, BlackBerry and Android devices.

Also newly available as part of the smartphone apps is DOT’s Winter Travel Advisory, which allows for customizable views of state roads impacted by snow and ice.