After only 10 full months of operation, Virginia’s 511 traffic and travel information phone system received its one-millionth call since the statewide launch in February 2005.
The Virginia 511 system updates callers and website visitors with information about road construction, traffic and weather conditions, traffic incidents, transit information, lodging, food, gas and more. The service is available 24 hours a day by dialing 5-1-1 or by visiting www.511Virginia.org. Outside Virginia, the 511 system can be accessed by calling 800/578-4111.
During the summer travel months, the new 511 service earned a reputation as being the statewide source of travel information and was accessed by Virginia residents and visitors alike. Heading into the fall and winter months, the usage continued to grow and now averages more than 100,000 calls per month.
By more than doubling the size of the system through the addition of 55 new roads, traffic, travel and location-specific weather condition information is now available across the Commonwealth.
"We are thrilled that we hit the one-million call mark in under a year," said Todd Kell, who leads the PBS&J Team that designed and operates the 511 telephone and website systems for the Virginia Department of Transportation. "By constantly improving the system and increasing public awareness, we expect to see some significant usage increases for both the telephone and website in 2006."
Customer satisfaction is one of the keys to the telephone system’s success, which was documented in the "511 Virginia Phone User Survey, Fall 2005, " published by the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute, which found that 100% of the survey respondents would call the 511 system again.
Other companies that are teamed with PBS&J to deploy, operate and maintain the Virginia 511 service include SmartRoute Systems (data processing and formatting), Tele Atlas (geo-referencing and multi-source fusion), Meteorlogix (weather reporting and forecasting) and LogicTree (interactive voice response telephone services).
As of November 2005, the 511 number logged more than 43 million calls nationally since its inception in July 2000. Currently, more than 93 million Americans have a 511 service available to them locally.
For information and locations of 511 nationwide, go to www.deploy511.org to see maps, updates and reports on the progress of 511. The Federal Communications Commission designated 511 as the national travel information number five years ago. Nationally, 511 is available in 25 states and more states are set to deploy in the coming months.