Virginia's new and improved 511 telephone information system for traffic conditions is open for business.
The new system will include mobile apps for Android and iPhone, better voice recognition on the 511 phone service, a website showing travel times and traffic cameras, as well as “Reach the Beach” signs and information showing the fastest routes to Virginia Beach and the Outer Banks.
The McDonnell administration touted the program's support from the private sector. Signs for the 511 service can be sponsored by private companies, offsetting the state's costs.
“Another innovative component to this program is generating revenue through sponsorships to help pay for the 511 service,” said Transportation Secretary Sean Connaughton. “The long-term goal is to break even. That’s a significant win for motorists and taxpayers.”
The 511 system started in 2002, and work on the upgrades began more than a year ago. Drivers can call 511 from a land line or cell phone or visit www.511Virginia.org for traffic information. Since it started, 11 million callers and 8 million online visitors have used the service.
Maryland operates a similar service, which can be found at www.md511.org.