New website replaces Kentucky's 511 traffic info line

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FRANKFORT, Ky. — Drivers calling 511 to check on traffic and road conditions in Kentucky will find the service no longer available.

The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet replaced the old phone system with a new website, www.goky.ky.gov, that spokesman Ryan Watts said has several benefits, such as eliminating the clunky over-the-phone menu system.

Before, callers would go through a series of menu options to get information about a specific road in one of 120 counties.

Other benefits include the ability to store data for research.

“This will help with future planning and highway safety purposes, such as high accident areas,” Watts said.

For drivers who like a mobile option, the state is also continuing their two-year partnership with Waze, a smartphone app that shares real-time information every two minutes. Transportation officials will be able to input construction and traffic information directly to the app, and not have it disappear after a short time as do reports from the public.

Watts said calls to 511 have dropped 40 percent the past two years, prompting officials to consider an evaluation of the system’s effectiveness.

“This will allow us to save taxpayers $750,000 per year while continuing to provide up-to-the-minute information on traffic and road conditions,” Watts said.

The change is now in effect. People who call 511 will be directed to the new service.

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