Traveler Services to join with Public Transportation
The ITD Division of Public Transportation will partner with the Division of Highways to fund a major enhancement to Idaho’s Traveler Information Service (511), integrating transit-related information and making the system truly multi-modal.
Idaho’s system provides traveler information via the Internet (511.idaho.gov) and on an interactive telephone system (by dialing 5-1-1 from within the state of Idaho). Currently, the information focuses primarily on car and truck travel on the state’s highways. Soon, transit users will be able to obtain information regarding statewide public transportation services.
Some of the primary features that will be provided with the transit enhancements include:
Transit information (Web): The high bandwidth version of the Idaho 511 Web site will include transit information for fixed route service. Additionally, easy-to-use links will provide more information. This new one-stop-shop for traveler information will include the following transit features:
The information generated to identify the bus routes/stops also will be uploaded to Google Transit for easy trip planning. As many as 11 transit providers (including inter-city services) are planned. Deployment of the enhancement is expected this fall.
Transit Information (511 phone). A new menu item will be added to the Idaho 511 phone system, allowing travelers to be transferred directly to public transportation service providers’ phone systems to obtain the needed information. In addition, the 511 phone system is being significantly revised to operate more smoothly, making it easier for callers to access the information they desire.
Alerts provided via email and/or text messaging. Transit information alerts, such as when the next bus might arrive at a certain location, will be provided to users via e-mail or text messaging. This feature will be developed as part of a larger enhancement by the ITD to allow subscribers to be alerted of highway conditions and other traveler information.
The new transit-related enhancements to the Idaho 511 system will benefit public transportation users as well as the managers of the various services. Transit information will be more readily available, improving coordination, safety and usability of transit services.
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Illustration: The image above is representative of what the new Web enhancement might look like this fall. It shows a similar application developed for the Portland, Maine area.