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KDOT Launches New Traveler Information Service


January 22, 2004 (04-010)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
News Contact: Krista Roberts  (785) 296-3585 

KDOT Launches New Traveler Information Service

Getting the most up-to-date travel information in Kansas is now as easy as dialing 511.  The Kansas Department of Transportation (KDOT) now offers 511 service.  By dialing 511 on any phone (wireline or wireless), travelers can access this new traveler information system offering road conditions, construction detours and weather information for the State Highway System.

The Federal Communications Commission assigned 511 as the abbreviated dialing code for national travel information services.  The new line will eventually replace KDOT’s current Road Condition Hot Line (800-585-ROAD).

“We think 511 is a big improvement over what we’ve been able to offer Kansas travelers up until now.  We hope people will give it a try,” said KDOT spokesperson Krista Roberts.

By calling 511, callers will get access to information about road conditions, construction, closures, detours, and weather conditions. Information is available all day, every day.  The call is free from a landline phone.  For most wireless users, the call will count against their cellular minutes, but no roaming fee should be involved.

In changing to 511, callers will now be able to get information for specific roads on the State Highway System. 

“The old hot line could only provide regional information which callers had to wade through to see if the road they wanted to know about was affected,” Roberts said.  “One of the big advantages of the new system is that more specific information can be accessed more quickly.  It’s a plus for everyone and especially for cellular users who have limited minutes on their plans.”

511 weather and road condition information will be updated every fifteen minutes which will offer callers more accurate and detailed information than the old line did. 511 callers will also be able to request information for the Nebraska State highway system (the only surrounding state currently with an active 511 system). Contact information for road conditions is also provided for other surrounding states.

Another added feature of the new 511 system is the option to get information by using voice commands or pressing the keypad on a touch-tone phone.  Roberts said, “Callers can try the voice commands and see how they like them.  If they’re calling from a noisy environment or having cell reception problems, they can always switch to the keypad option.”