One million San Diegans
The region’s 511 transportation information service celebrated its first birthday in February – and during this past year more than one million people have used the free phone and Web service to find everything from carpool information to real-time traffic conditions.
“Dialing 511 gets you the transportation information you need,” said Gary Gallegos, SANDAG Executive Director. “It’ll get you there faster, it’ll get you there smarter, and it’ll give you the tools you need to help the environment.”
Launched by SANDAG and its partners on February 21, 2007, 511 provides up-to-the-minute reports on traffic conditions and incidents, driving times, San Diego public transit schedules, and route and fare information, as well as roadside assistance, carpool and vanpool referrals, bicycling information, and more – 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
In its first 12 months of operation in San Diego County, 726,000 people called the free service. Another 370,000 visitors accessed information on the Web at www.511sd.com. After 511 signs were installed on the region’s freeways, calls to the service jumped from 11,900 a week to 14,500 a week. A new Web site home page design also was unveiled and North County users can expect to see 511 information on public access TV channel KOCT in Oceanside by mid-April.
San Diego’s regional 511 program is part of a national effort. Since the first program started about six years ago in the Cincinnati area, the program has taken hold in 40 communities nationwide, offering 126 million Americans the service – nearly half the people in the United States.
To date, 91 million people have called into the service for information nationwide. In November 2007 alone, 2.6 million people nationwide called 511 for transportation information.
Our local 511 service stems from a collaborative partnership among SANDAG, Caltrans, Metropolitan Transit System, North County Transit District, California Highway Patrol, and San Diego County Service Authority for Freeway Emergencies.