Mobile Web, improved Web, phone systems
make travel information
In an effort to continually improve the 511 Traveler Services system and respond to public needs, the Idaho Transportation Department added a number of new features to the Web site and telephone system this year.
The interactive Web site – 511.idaho.gov – along with new mobile Web options and the voice-response telephone system (dial 511 within Idaho) is the primary source for winter driving conditions and provides access to similar systems in adjacent states.
Idaho’s Web site includes reports on highway conditions, reports on mountain passes, live camera images and information related to commercial trucking.
Motorists will find the following major improvements to the 511 Traveler Services telephone system this year:
Major highways divided into sections – On many of Idaho’s longer highways, users previously had to listen to an entire report on a specific highway, even if information was needed for a short segment of the highway. Callers now have the option of requesting information for shorter segments of major highways. As a result, they can obtain reports faster and reduce their telephone time.
Users also can request that the events on their chosen section be described according to a preferred direction of travel on the route such as east to west, or west to east.
Better location references – Reports on the old system often referred to local roads and streets to identify locations of events. Many users, however, were not familiar with those references to local landmarks.]
The new system identifies the location of events in reference to Idaho cities and towns. An event message will state that the event is in a city (within the city limits), near a city (generally within one mile of the named city), or a number of miles in a specified direction from a city.
Truckers’ menu – The new telephone system provides a new menu option specifically for operators of commercial vehicles/trucks. This option provides quick access to information about commercial vehicle restrictions that may have an impact on their route planning.
Mobile Web application – An increasing number of travelers rely on Mobile Web technology to access information. Idaho’s 511 Traveler Services introduced a new option for cell phone and other mobile Web devices.
Opening a Mobile Web application and accessing 511.idaho.gov now delivers highway information, by route number, and images from Idaho cameras directly to Web-enabled mobile devices. Information is best viewed on mobile devices with full Web browsers. (Additional charges may be imposed by cell phone providers.)
High speed Web option – Visitors to the 511 Traveler Service Web site (511.idaho.gov) now can choose from a high-speed version that includes Google Map technology and other features for Web connections faster than conventional dial-up. ITD continues to offer the dial-up version that requires less bandwidth.
Expanded highway camera images – ITD is aggressively adding new highway cameras where possible and updating existing equipment to provide motorists with the most current images available. Camera images are available on the Web and Mobile Web.
In its continuing effort to improve the system and better respond to travelers’ needs, ITD welcomes input from the traveling public.