511 Free Traveler Information Service Available in Md. - Southern Maryland Headline News

511 Free Traveler Information Service Available in Md.

New Tool Designed to Help Marylanders Navigate Daily Commutes, Road Trips, Special Events

(August 17, 2011)—Will a car crash double the time it takes to get home tonight? Will an emergency road repair steal away beach time next weekend? If you have traffic questions, you can now get answers with Maryland 511.

As the Grand Prix rolls into Maryland early next month, the State Highway Administration (SHA) urges drivers to “Get ready, Set, KNOW.” Know Before You Go is the theme of the new Maryland 511 traveler information system now available throughout the State. It provides key travel information to help guide Marylanders before heading out to major events, cross-state travel and daily commutes. Calling 511 from any mobile or land line or logging onto www.MD511.org provides free one-stop shopping for travel information on State maintained roadways, including travel times, incident or work zone lane closures, weather reports and connections to transit, airport and tourism information.

With 511, commuters and visitors are offered more predictable travel in Maryland. Drivers can save time, fuel costs and the frustration that often breeds aggressive and unsafe driving.

Personalize your traffic information and travel times with My Maryland 511, a feature of the www.MD511.org web site, where you can create a profile and set up designated “trips,” (i.e. from home to work or from home to beach). Thereafter every time you log in, you’re instantly offered customized traffic information as well as instant access to up to six pre-selected live traffic camera views. In your profile choose to include commonly used phone numbers, so that when you call 511, you are recognized and offered tailored information bypassing the general menu prompts.

“Take advantage of 511 and its benefits, but please do so safely,” said Acting SHA Administrator Darrell Mobley. “It’s a good time to remind Marylander drivers about the laws restricting hand-held phone use and texting while driving. Access 511 before heading out or after pulling over to a safe location.”

The 511 system is available every day, anytime. Traffic data from a variety of traffic information sources including the Coordinated Highway Action Response Team program will be updated and constantly provided to the public through the automated telephone line, website, and social networking outlet Twitter.

SHA officials say they want to hear suggestions and concerns from the public regarding the new system. You can record comments using the 511 phone system by pressing “77” or the “Contact Us” link on the website to let us know about your experience with the service. SHA will continue to refine the voice recognition and programming during the initial phase. In addition to dialing “511” in Maryland, you can reach Maryland 511 by calling the toll-free number: 1-855-GOMD511 or 1-855-466-3511.

The three-digit “511” number was designated by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) as the national telephone number for traveler information. “511” is used by more than 40 state or municipal transportation departments and transit agencies in the nation. SHA awarded the $4.7 million contract to Telvent in Rockville, Md. to design, build, implement, operate, host and maintain Maryland’s state-wide 511 program for five years.

Log on to www.MD511.org and set up your personalized routes today and learn how 511 can improve your commute or next road trip.

Source: Maryland State Highway Administration (SHA)

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