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South Dakota Department of Transportation
Project Synopsis
SD2002-05


Title: Statewide 511 Traveler Information Number
Project Researcher: Jon Becker, South Dakota Department of Transportation
Project Manager: Dave Huft
Research Period: 1/1/2002 - 6/30/2002
Status: Approved
Cost: $7,500.00

Problem Statement: The Federal Communications Commission has established 511 as the national phone number for travel information. Like 911, which has been established for emergencies, 511 would be uniformly accessible throughout the country. Unlike 911, the responsibility for defining, establishing, and operating the 511 system is not clearly identified. The Department of Transportation is the most logical choice for leading the state's 511 initiative, but establishing 511 statewide will require coordination with a large number of phone and cellular providers and other state and local agencies.

South Dakota has a traveler information system called the Advanced Traveler and Weather Information System (ATWIS). This system is now accessed by dialing #SAFE on cellular telephones only. Information is also available by land line via four telephone numbers available throughout the state that provide traveler information. To permit statewide 511 to replace these existing systems, decisions need to be made regarding what information will be available via 511, who will pay for them, and what funding mechanisms exist.

Research is needed to investigate technical and institutional issues associated with establishing and operating 511 statewide in South Dakota. The research would address concerns of phone and cellular providers, state and local agencies, and the traveling public at large. The work would produce a plan for practical deployment of 511 in the state.



Findings:
Title: Statewide 511 Traveler Information Number
Project Researcher: Jon Becker, DOT
Project Manager: Dave Huft
Research Period: 1/1/2002 - 6/30/2002
Status: Approved
Cost: $7,500.00

Problem Statement: The Federal Communications Commission has established 511 as the national phone number for travel information. Like 911, which has been established for emergencies, 511 would be uniformly accessible throughout the country. Unlike 911, the responsibility for defining, establishing, and operating the 511 system is not clearly identified. The Department of Transportation is the most logical choice for leading the state's 511 initiative, but establishing 511 statewide will require coordination with a large number of phone and cellular providers and other state and local agencies.

South Dakota has a traveler information system called the Advanced Traveler and Weather Information System (ATWIS). This system is now accessed by dialing #SAFE on cellular telephones only. Information is also available by land line via four telephone numbers available throughout the state that provide traveler information. To permit statewide 511 to replace these existing systems, decisions need to be made regarding what information will be available via 511, who will pay for them, and what funding mechanisms exist.

Research is needed to investigate technical and institutional issues associated with establishing and operating 511 statewide in South Dakota. The research would address concerns of phone and cellular providers, state and local agencies, and the traveling public at large. The work would produce a plan for practical deployment of 511 in the state.



Findings:

Research Objectives:
1  Evaluate the institutional and technical issues relevant to establishing a statewide 511 traveler information number.
2  Propose a plan for deploying and operating a statewide 511 traveler information number.

Research Tasks:
1  Review literature available from FHWA, ITS organizations, and other state‚Äôs 511 efforts regarding 511 system architecture, deployment and operation.
2  Identify and describe sources of state and local road information that now exist within South Dakota.
3  Determine regulatory, technical and cost issues specific to South Dakota through interviews with service providers, the Public Utilities Commission, and the Bureau of Information and Telecommunications.
4  Prepare an outline and a plan for conducting focus groups with potential users of the statewide 511 system.
5  Conduct focus groups to determine needs and acceptable user costs pertaining to 511.
6  Submit a technical memorandum summarizing findings to date and outlining possible directions for establishing and operating a 511 system in South Dakota.
7  With guidance provided by the technical panel, propose a detailed plan for deploying, operating, and funding options for a statewide 511 system.
8  Prepare a final report including methodology, findings, conclusions and recommendations.
9  Prepare and make an executive presentation to the SDDOT Research Review at the conclusion of the project.

Documents Available:

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