VDOT News - Statewide



Marshall M. Herman 804-692-2134


Oct. 30, 2017

New Version of 511 App Offers Waze Navigation and Push Notifications

RICHMOND, Va.  – The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) has launched the next generation of the Virginia 511 traveler information app. Using state-of-the art technology, Virginia 511 provides users with real-time, accurate traffic information about road conditions, congestion and highway work zones in Virginia, whenever they need it. The new app, and all of the Virginia 511 tools, is your key to knowing what is happening on the commonwealth’s roads.

While the new version of the app will appear to existing users as an update, the enhancements are substantial. These include improved user experience, push notifications and alerts, transit and parking information, and turn-by-turn navigation.

Navigation is provided through VDOT’s partnership with Waze, the free, real-time, crowdsourced navigation app. VDOT is using Waze’s Deep Links Application program interface, or API, to power this feature.

“VDOT’s 511 system offers all the information you need to make traveling in Virginia as easy and reliable as possible,” said VDOT Commissioner Charlie Kilpatrick. “While providing Virginia’s travelers the most up-to-date traffic and road condition information is important to us, nothing is more important than public safety. Please do not use the app while driving, unless you are using it hands-free, or as a passenger.”

How to Use

To get started, open the app, use the search bar (“Where To?”) and find your location. Once you’ve chosen your location, travel times for driving and transit options will be provided (travel times provided by Google). Tap an option for detailed directions.

If you would like to navigate to your location, tap on the Waze icon in the directions and the Waze app will open for navigation to your destination. Installation of the free Waze app is required to use this feature. (If you do not have the Waze app, you will be directed to the App Store). The 511 app will remain open in the background and you can return to 511 anytime by tapping “VDOT 511” in the upper left corner.

Using the map overlays menu at the upper right, you can choose various map options and layers, which include:

  • high-priority incidents
  • road work
  • traffic cameras
  • Park and Ride locations
  • weather closures
  • message signs
  • bridge openings
  • rest areas
  • Capital Bike Share
  • special events

The main menu in the upper left corner provides travel times for predefined road segments, links to other commuter services, adverse road condition information by locality, a link to the “myVDOT” customer service reporting tool, and an easy way to email us your app feedback. 

Settings can be accessed at the bottom of the main menu (gear icon). This includes an option to sign up for trip notifications (define a recurring trip by arrival time, and receive push notifications based on current traffic). Please note that conditions change rapidly and these times are a best estimate, not a guarantee.

More Northern Virginia Info

Additional information available in Northern Virginia includes Virginia Railway Express (VRE) and Potomac and Rappahannock Transportation Commission (PRTC) bus schedules and routes, along with real-time VRE train locations. A unique feature provides limited ability to see drive-to-transit options for these services when the “Nearby Transit Options” is selected from certain directions results. These services will be expanded in the future to include more agencies statewide. 

About 511

There are three ways to access 511. You can download the free Virginia 511 app for iOS
and Android (look for “VDOT 511” in the app store), visit the 511virginia.org website, or
call 5-1-1 from any phone in Virginia. For more information on 511, visit www.virginiadot.org/travel/511.asp.

About Waze

Waze is the social navigation pioneer, leveraging mobile technology and a passionate global community to redefine expectations of today’s maps. Waze is home to the world’s largest network of drivers who work together daily to outsmart traffic and save time and money. The app consistently recommends the fastest routes based on real-time driving and data from millions of users. From traffic reroutes to low gas price alerts and relevant offers from favorite brands, Waze is one of the most comprehensive driving companions in the marketplace. To download the free Waze app for iOS or Android, visit http://www.waze.com. For more information on Waze privacy policy, visit https://www.waze.com/legal/privacy.

Information in VDOT news releases was accurate at the time the release was published. For the most current information about projects or programs, please visit the project or program Web pages. You may find those by searching by keyword in the search Virginia DOT box above.

Page last modified: Nov. 14, 2017