Two years after the Idaho Transportation Department launched the 511 Traveler Information phone system and the 511.idaho.gov Web site, the service is ready for a major upgrade.
Significant enhancements – both operational and functional – are expected in “511 Next-Gen” scheduled for release this fall.
In preparation for rolling out the new generation, ITD wants input from a segment of the traveling public that depends on Idaho’s highways for their livelihood – commercial vehicle operators. The department and its consultant Iteris designed a simple Web-based survey that will assist in future development of 511 Traveler Services.
The survey includes about a dozen questions, some of which have multiple parts, and should take 5-10 minutes to complete online. Hosted by “Survey Monkey,” it is available through the 511 Traveler Service Web site (http://511.idaho.gov.) Select the Trucking tab and choose the button, “Take Our Survey.”
“The purpose of the survey is to help us provide the kind of traveler information services that are most useful to commercial operators,” explains Ben Frevert of Iteris. “Our goal from the beginning has been to provide information in a format that is easy to access, understand and use.
“We made some initial assumptions when we designed the 511 Web site, and they were appropriate at the time. While the site continues to serve clients well, we want to make the system even more relevant and responsive as we incorporate new changes and move to a new generation.”
ITD began receiving completed surveys early this month and will continue to accept responses through Sept. 15. Depending on the complexity of the services required, some of the changes could be incorporated when the new version is released in October, said Alison Lantz, Traveler Services Systems Manager.
The surveys are most appropriate for owners of trucking companies, drivers, clerical and office staff and dispatchers, Lantz said. Those who wish to elaborate on the survey can send additional comments via e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org or through the Internet at 511.idaho.gov .
“Input from the trucking community will help us shape system enhancements we will make in the future,” Lantz said. “Some of those improvements might be included in the next generation rollout; others will be considered in future versions.”
She said it is too early in the process to determine key issues or trends from survey respondents.
The 511 Traveler Services system, web and telephone applications, is a constantly evolving entity that is designed to grow and mature as the needs change, Lantz added. “It is designed to be flexible and to address the needs of users as they become apparent. Input from the people who use the system will help us make it even better.”