Pennsylvania revamps travel information services

Pennsylvania officials on Friday unveiled updates to their statewide travel information service, including new features for its mobile app, a simpler phone system and a redesigned website. 

The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation and Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission announced that the state’s 511PA service — which provides real-time updates on weather forecasts, traffic delays and traffic speeds, as well as live access to more than 1,000 traffic cameras — has several additional features.

Officials said the redesigned mobile app now includes the ability to limit alerts to those on users’ routes, a tool to save traffic cameras for easier access and an “alternate routes” option. The travel information website was also redesigned for improved accessibility and mobile access, while the phone system’s options were “streamlined.”

PennDOT Secretary Mike Carroll said the updates are designed to make traffic services “easier to find, more accessible, and readily available.”

The announcement follows news from Gov. Josh Shapiro’s office Wednesday of a major overhaul to the state’s web presence. Shapiro and the Commonwealth Office of Digital Experience announced that new state websites are the first phase of “a Commonwealth-wide digital transformation” that will include more than 60 new websites by early next year.

Research published last year by the government software company CivicPlus found, through a survey of 16,000 people, that improving digital services boosts trust among members of the public. The company also found that a majority of respondents were not satisfied with how their local governments shared information with the public.

Annual survey results published on Thursday by the accounting firm KPMG found that many are bullish on generative artificial intelligence’s capacity to improve government’s digital services. Just over half of respondents said they believe the use of generative AI “is important” for improving the services delivered by government agencies, such as health care benefits and motor vehicle services.

Written by Colin Wood

Colin Wood is the editor in chief of StateScoop and EdScoop. He’s reported on government information technology policy for more than a decade, on topics including cybersecurity, IT governance and public safety.

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Pennsylvania officials on Friday unveiled updates to their statewide travel information se…