The Kansas Department of Transportation’s website, Kandrive.org, has been relied on for years to provide current highway condition information across the state. Now, the number of people taking advantage of the new KanDrive App and the Kansas 511 phone system is soaring.
From November through December 2022, KanDrive App sessions went from 6,919 to 44,118 – a 538% increase. During that same two-month timeframe, the number of 511 calls received expanded 368% – from 3,356 up to 15,723.
Several factors contributed to the dramatic increase. In October 2022, the KanDrive App became available, and the 511 phone system was updated. Then the Christmas holiday storm that brought record low temperatures and wind chills encouraged people to give the new App and improved 511 a try.
“Impacts to traffic – whether snow, ice, flooding, construction activities or a major crash – are updated around the clock on KanDrive to assist the public in making informed travel decisions,” said Kevin Hennes, DOT Administrator for KanDrive. “Providing options to receive this timely information is a huge benefit for motorists.”
The KanDrive App contains all account features on the KanDrive website, but also includes a hands-free/eye-free feature that announces upcoming traffic events while traveling. The 511 system’s voice quality and speech recognition features have been improved, allowing motorists to ask for reports on a specific route, in a city or between two cities.
The main connection of these systems is the KanDrive road condition website, created by KDOT in 2009. It has been upgraded several times to include additional features, such as real-time streaming of camera views along state roadways, a truckers’ mode for commercial vehicle operators, traffic speeds, reports, incidents alerts and more. The upgrades also connected KanDrive to traffic management systems in the Wichita (WICHway) and Kansas City (KC Scout) metro areas.
KanDrive website usage decreases in the summer and greatly increases in the winter, with motorists using it to learn how much and how long storms are impacting highways. In 2022, traffic to the website averaged more than 141,000 site hits a month. But from November to December, traffic to the KanDrive website escalated from 65,674 to 407,398 – a 520% increase.
For more information on all KanDrive services, go to the website at www.KanDrive.org.