This report looks into the background of the deployment
of 511 transport information services in the US. The
content of the 511 transport information service in San
Francisco Bay Area (SFBA) and the service network model
applied with the SFBA 511 service in particular are
described in this report.
In the US, the three digit number 511 has been selected
as a common brand for traffic and travelling related
information. The US federal government provides several
types of support and incentives for the states in order
to facilitate the early stages in the deployment of 511
services. These means include e.g. assistance funding and
various deployment and marketing support toolboxes.
Currently 28 states have the service available either
through the phone or the Internet or both.
The SFBA 511-service covers different modes and is
available both on the Internet and as a phone service.
The service includes information on traffic, transit,
bicycling and ridesharing. The service was one of the
forerunners in the 511 implementation in the US, it is
quite well known in the area and is well appreciated by
its users. About 90% of existing users are very or
somewhat satisfied with the services. Today the service
generates around 500 000 phone calls and over 2 000 000
web-sessions per month.
The SFBA 511 is facilitated by a partnership of public
agencies led by the Metropolitan Transportation
Commission, the California Highway Patrol, and the
California Department of Transportation. The SFBA 511
services are based on public sector funding. The annual
operational budget is about $6.2 million. The public
partners include the aforementioned agencies, congestion
management agencies and emergency response services. The
private partners include a system manager contractor,
companies supplementing public agency data collection
efforts, local media and various information service
This report concludes that it is sensible that the
secondary beneficiaries, i.e. the public actors pay the
majority or all of the costs regarding the deployment,
operation and maintenance of travel information services.
This conclusion is backed by evidence on the fact that in
general travellers are not willing to pay very much for
travel information services like the 511.
|Place of Publication
|VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland
|Number of pages
|Published - 2008
|MoE publication type
|VTT Working Papers
- transport information
- service model