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April 13, 2004 > Dial 511 for Traffic Information

Dial 511 for Traffic Information

The Metropolitan Transportation Commission has improved its popular 511 traveler information service with a series of enhanced traffic information features activated Wednesday, March 24. Topping the list is on-demand, point-to-point driving times for key freeway corridors.

Tapping data from FasTrak toll transponders and constantly updated information from Caltrans, the 511 Driving Times feature tells commuters the current travel time between cities or major landmarks in the Bay Area, and if there are any incidents on the route. Driving time information is now available both by dialing 511 on your phone and online at

The first of its kind in the nation, the toll-free 511 Driving Times service currently is available along the entire Interstate 80 corridor from San Francisco to Highway 12 east near Suisun City (including the Bay Bridge and Carquinez Bridge), Interstate 880 from the MacArthur Maze to Fremont, and Interstate 680 from Highway 4 in Pacheco to Interstate 580 in Dublin/Pleasanton. Over the next year, the service will be expanded region-wide and will be available for all major Bay Area highways and bridges.

The 511 phone service's enhanced traffic features also include a faster voice-response menu, better menu navigation, more detail about incident locations (including identifying the city in which the incident is located), and more detail about slowdowns (including actual traffic speeds when average speeds drop below 40 m.p.h.) 511 also now includes an optional connection to the FasTrak Customer Service center.

Transit riders also can use 511 to get information about routes, schedules and fares from dozens of transit operators throughout the Bay Area and in adjacent counties. Simply say "public transportation" at the first prompt and then follow the voice prompts from there. In addition to information stored in the 511 database, the system also can transfer callers to transit operators' customer service centers. 511 provides information about carpooling/vanpooling and bicycling as well.

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