5-1-1: Wikis


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5-1-1, initially designated for road weather information, is a transportation and traffic information telephone hotline in some regions of the United States and Canada. Travelers can dial the three-digit telephone number 5-1-1 on traditional landline telephones and most mobile phones.

As of March 2001, at least 300 telephone numbers existed for travel information systems in the United States. To overcome the confusion caused by this array of numbers, the United States Department of Transportation (USDOT) petitioned the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) for a national assignment of a single three-digit N11 dialing code. On July 21, 2000, the FCC assigned 511 as a nationwide telephone number for ITS traveler information,[1] along with 2-1-1 for social services. Its use is being promoted by the USDOT's Intelligent Transport Systems initiative.[2]

The first 511 traveler information system to launch was in the Cincinnati-Northern Kentucky metropolitan area in June 2001.[3]

The first statewide 511 traveler information system was launched across the state of Nebraska in October 2001.[4]



Individual states have the lead role in coordinating 511 deployments. National leadership is provided by the 511 Deployment Coalition http://deploy511.org/index.htm. Led by the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO), and including travel information experts from more than 30 organizations, the Coalition has developed voluntary guidelines for state transportation agencies to follow when planning 511 service for their states or regions. Other leading member organizations of the Coalition include the American Public Transportation Association (APTA), the Intelligent Transportation Society of America (ITS America), and the U.S. Department of Transportation.

Active 511 Systems

Active 511 Systems (in order of deployment date) as of January 31, 2010:

  1. Cincinnati, Ohio and Northern Kentucky
  2. Nebraska
  3. Utah
  4. Virginia
  5. Arizona
  6. Orlando, Florida
  7. Minnesota
  8. Southeastern Florida
  9. Washington State
  10. Iowa
  11. South Dakota
  12. Kentucky statewide
  13. San Francisco Bay area
  14. Montana
  15. Vermont
  16. North Dakota
  17. Alaska
  18. Maine
  19. New Hampshire
  20. Oregon
  21. Kansas
  22. North Carolina
  23. Sacramento, California and Northern California
  24. Tampa, Florida
  25. Colorado
  26. Rhode Island
  27. Florida statewide, except for the southwest region
  28. Idaho
  29. Wyoming
  30. Tennessee
  31. Nevada
  32. Jacksonville, Florida
  33. Louisiana
  34. San Diego
  35. Southwestern Florida
  36. St. Louis, Missouri
  37. California Eastern Sierra
  38. Georgia
  39. Eastern Massachusetts
  40. New Jersey
  41. New Mexico
  42. Nova Scotia
  43. Yukon
  44. New York
  45. Wisconsin
  46. Inland Empire, California
  47. Pennsylvania


Implemented in August 2006, Tennessee 511 uses an automated voice response system. Callers are guided through the menu through a series of requests. Callers can ask for specific roadways or regions, and the system will provide information about traffic incidents, closures, weather, and other important roadway conditions. Travelers have the option of accessing road and travel conditions at http://www.TN511.com or through the 511 phone service.


In Kentucky, 511 services cover traffic and weather conditions, and can also be heard on the radio on the AM dial (the Travelers' Information Station) and at http://511.ky.gov.


The Florida Department of Transportation’s (FDOT) 511 Traffic Information Service is a free phone and Internet service that provides real-time traffic information on all Florida interstate highways, Florida’s Turnpike and major roadways in the state’s major metropolitan areas. The 511 phone call is available from cell phones or landlines from anywhere within the state. The website, http://www.FL511.com, provides traffic information, FDOT camera views, links to transit partners, My Florida 511 Personalized Services and more.

Florida’s 511 underwent a dramatic change in 2009: the integration of five regional systems into one seamless statewide service making it easier than ever for Florida drivers to get real-time traffic information. In addition, system upgrades will allow 511 users to take advantage of the latest technology to personalize their traffic updates and receive customized traffic alerts from 511.

The new Advanced Traveler Information System (ATIS) delivers local 511 services through technology that is standardized and integrated statewide. The Florida ATIS features the next generation of Interactive Voice Recognition (IVR) service, with easier-to-navigate call menus that provide detailed local information. The new IVR is entirely bilingual, offering information in English and Spanish throughout the state.

While 511 services are standardized statewide, local FDOT districts continue to provide traffic updates for the new ATIS. Districts control the quality and quantity of information from their area which is posted on 511 and Fl511.com [1] using SunGuide software.

Technological improvements to Florida’s Statewide 511 include hundreds of additional traffic cameras, thousands of roadside sensors, and more fiber optics to provide fast, accurate reporting of information used for 511 alerts.

Florida’s Statewide 511 service covers all interstate highways in the state, Florida’s Turnpike [2], Miami-Dade Expressway Authority [3] roadways, Orlando-Orange County Expressway Authority [4] roadways and many other major roads throughout the state, adding key roadways in some areas, while focusing on commonly requested highways in other districts.

My Florida 511 allows Florida drivers to set up customized routes and alerts through FL511.com [5]. The 511 system then notifies those drivers when alerts are posted on their personalized routes, through a phone call, e-mail or SMS text message. My Florida 511 users receive their alerts only during the days and times of day they choose.

The Statewide 511 Web site gives quick access to regional traffic conditions and incident reports, including traffic cameras, and allows users to sign up for My Florida 511 personalized services. The Web site features links to transit and travel partners — including transit systems — airports and seaports, and evacuation information.


This statewide Georgia Navigator system provides traffic, MARTA/GRTA and other public transport, rideshare, Clean Air Campaign, Atlanta and Savannah airport, Amtrak, Greyhound, weather and tourism information in an interactive voice response (IVR) format. Callers are also given the option of connecting to live operators at the Georgia Department of Transportation's Transportation Management Center in Atlanta. Connecting to operators allows users to report traffic accidents to the Georgia State Patrol or local police or sheriffs, or request motorist assistance from the Highway Emergency Response Operators (HERO) program. Callers can also connect to adjacent states' 5-1-1 systems, including North Carolina's.

Georgia actually had a system for years before this, using only live operators, and the code *DOT (*368), which could not necessarily be used by those mobile phone users who were roaming from elsewhere, as these codes are specific to each phone company. A local 404 number in metro Atlanta and a toll-free 800 number were used for these and landline calls, and still serve as backup for mobile providers that fail to connect.[5]

New York

511 New York, established and administered by the New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT), is a free, one-stop, all-encompassing phone and Web service www.511ny.org offering information on transportation services and conditions throughout New York State. It operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week. 511 systems started out primarily as phone services in other states; 511 New York builds upon the success of other systems and includes a comprehensive Internet Web portal and real-time alerts sent to e-mail and mobile devices via http://www.511NY.org. Other hand-held, mobile and in-vehicle electronic devices eventually will be supported. The phone service is an interactive voice system reachable by landline and cellular phones and is operated by a user’s voice or phone keys. A personalized, free subscription service can provide alerts of major incidents and can be customized to provide alerts by region, county and travel corridor. Basic service was launched in the New York City metropolitan area in late 2008. Statewide coverage and more sophisticated services will be added throughout 2009. On 511 New York, you’ll get dynamic information on traffic and weather conditions; a transit trip planner spanning multiple service providers with information on schedules, routes, fares and park-and-ride lots; carpool, vanpool and ride-share referrals; tourism links, bicycling information and more. The traffic information includes congestion, incidents, traffic camera images, travel speeds and times, highway construction work zones and special, planned events. The system offers a critical, single-point information source during transportation emergencies. New York State’s 511 services strive to assist commuters, travelers, tourists and commercial vehicle operators. Its goal is to help travelers make informed choices about their trips; to increase customer satisfaction; and to improve mobility, reliability and safety while reducing transportation’s impact on the environment. 511 New York is groundbreaking because of its extensive transportation information for other adjoining states that are part of the New York City region. Everything is in one easy-to-use portal. The 511 New York service eliminates having to keep many individual phone numbers and Web sites. 511 New York is groundbreaking because its comprehensive multimodal information goes beyond highway data and because its extensive transportation information includes contiguous states that are part of the metro New York region. This true regional service, involving New York’s transportation and transit agencies, partners and neighboring states, was developed through NYSDOT’s leadership with the ultimate goal of becoming the basis of a northeastern United States regional system.

511 NY – “Get Connected to Go” is the umbrella brand of The New York State Department of Transportation for traffic, transit and travel information.

The 511 New York theme line is: Get Connected to Go. The tag line is: New York State’s Official Traffic and Travel Info Source. The credit line is: A Free Service of the New York State Department of Transportation.


Pennsylvania's state wide 511 launched on September 1st 2009. The system provides up to date information on all the states interstate highways. [6]


In the summer of 2007, the original vendor was removed and services were redesigned and improved using Meridian Environmental Technology.[6] The effort to redesign and improve service undertaken [summer of 2007] to revamp WYDOT's 511 Travel Information telephone service is paying benefits this winter, based on recent customer feedback.[7]

Some of the additional features are:

  • Ability to choose neighboring states that provide 511 information
  • Voice recognition, with the option to revert to touchtone keypad input
  • Ability to choose route-specific information or regional summaries
  • Agency capability to include Alerts (Amber, Homeland, customized)

Local regions

San Francisco

The Bay Area's 511 logo
The logo on a road sign

In addition to the phone service, travelers in the San Francisco Bay area can access transit information on a website, which provides information on mass transit schedules and an interactive trip planner, which will provide an optimal routing between a given origin, destination, and optional time constraints. In addition, 511.org provides information on bicycling, ridesharing, and the toll road system Fastrak. http://511.org is a service of the Metropolitan Transportation Commission, and was designed by the transportation engineering company Parsons Brinckerhoff, Farradyne (now Telvent Farradyne [8]). The system had a fair amount of controversy[citation needed] when it was announced that it would use FasTrak electronic toll tags to track vehicles as they traversed Bay Area freeways.[9]

In 2006, the Bay Area's transit coordinator signed an $11,000,000 four-year contract with defense contractor Science Applications International Corporation to operate the local 511 system.[10]

San Diego

Users of the San Diego area have access to road, transit, and other information via the phone and web. They can access transit information on a website, which provides information on mass transit schedules and an interactive trip planner, which will provide an optimal routing between a given origin, destination, and optional time constraints. In addition, 511sd.com provides information on bicycling, ridesharing, and the toll road system Fastrak. 511sd.com is a service of the San Diego Association of Governments, and was designed by the company ICx Technologies and PB Farradyne (now Telvent Farradyne [8]).

Elsewhere in the United States

Similar services are operated in other cities and states; for example, the Minnesota Department of Transportation operates a website for traffic and road condition information. Central Florida is claimed to have the most-used 511 system in the nation, on a per capita basis.[11]

Washington state and Oregon both operate their own 511 system. The Washington state 511 system has an option to transfer to the Oregon 511 system to help users in the Portland metropolitan area to access the right system for them.


Both Nova Scotia and Quebec have a 5-1-1 system.

In January 2005 the Intelligent Transportation Systems Society of Canada (ITS Canada) consortium filed an application to assign 5-1-1 for a similar purpose in Canada. It proposed that in addition to traffic, the number would report weather, which also has a major impact on traffic, particularly in a country with such harsh winters. The application was approved by the CRTC in Canada on July 28, 2006.[12]


  1. ^ "511 Guidelines Version 3.0" (PDF). September 2005. pp. 5. http://www.deploy511.org/docs/511%20Guidelines%20Version%203.0.pdf. Retrieved 2007-04-07. 
  2. ^ "FCC designates 511 traffic information number". Civil Engineering 70 (9): 12. September 2000. 
  3. ^ "511 Deployment Status", USDOT. Retrieved on March 3, 2008
  4. ^ "Nebraska 511 Information", USDOT. Retrieved on June 12, 2009
  5. ^ "Dial 511 for transportation information". Atlanta Journal Constitution. 2007-08-15. http://www.ajc.com/search/content/metro/stories/2007/08/15/trafficfone.html. Retrieved 2006-08-15. 
  6. ^ "WYDOT suspends 511 to make service improvements". Wyoming DOT News. July 3, 2007. http://www.dot.state.wy.us/ReadMore.jsp?sCode=news&sCID=2338. 
  7. ^ "Revamped 511 Travel Information service increases customer satisfaction". Wyoming DOT News. February 11, 2008. http://www.dot.state.wy.us/ReadMore.jsp?sCode=news&sCID=3301. 
  8. ^ a b "Telvent Farradyne corporate site". 2006. http://www.telvent-farradyne.com. Retrieved November 15, 2006. 
  9. ^ FasTrak Application and License Agreement, Toll Tags: section, last subsection: You agree that the Toll Tag may be read to provide anonymous traffic flow data to the Metropolitan Transportation Commission’s ‘511’ project, a real time traffic information service. No information identifying a FasTrak account, person or vehicle using the Toll Tag will be collected by the Metropolitan Transportation Commission or ‘511’.
  10. ^ "San Francisco re-ups SAIC unit for 511". October 2006. http://www.washingtontechnology.com/online/1_1/29617-1.html. Retrieved March 15, 2007. 
  11. ^ "Central Florida 511 system nation's most used". Orlando Business Journal. August 4, 2006. http://www.bizjournals.com/orlando/stories/2006/07/31/daily55.html. Retrieved November 15, 2006. 
  12. ^ Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (July 28, 2006). "Telecom Decision CRTC 006-44: Applications for assignment of the 5-1-1 access code". Government of Canada. http://www.crtc.gc.ca/archive/ENG/Decisions/2006/dt2006-44.htm. Retrieved 2006-11-15. 

External links

Region-specific 511 sites

General information

Simple English

5-1-1 is a special telephone number in the United States and some parts of Canada. It is made to be easy to remember. People can dial the number on a landline phone or on a mobile phone to get information about traffic and travel.



In March 2001, there were more than three hundred phone numbers about traffic and travel. This was confusing to many people, because so many numbers existed, or were there, for the same thing. To fix this, the United States Department of Transportation (called the USDOT) asked the Federal Communications Commission (called the FCC) for a special N11 code. On July 21, 2000, the FCC made 5-1-1 the national telephone number for travel information.[1]


Other websites

5-1-1 numbers for specific places

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