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Washington State 511. 511 - Introduction. US Department of Transportation Petitioned the Federal Communication Commission (FCC) for N11 for travel information (April 1999) FCC selected and approved 511 (July 2000) 5 year implementation period, with FCC review (could lose 511 if…).

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washington state 511

Washington State 511

WA State 511 September 26, 2007

511 introduction
511 - Introduction
  • US Department of Transportation Petitioned the Federal Communication Commission (FCC) for N11 for travel information (April 1999)
  • FCC selected and approved 511 (July 2000)
  • 5 year implementation period, with FCC review (could lose 511 if…)

WA State 511 September 26, 2007

n11 codes 8 available there will never be an area code using n11
N11 codes - 8 available(there will never be an area code using N11)
  • 011 - not available, for switching & routing
  • 111 - not available, for switching & routing
  • 211 - social services referral (FCC, 2000)
  • 311 - non-emergency calls (FCC, 1997) Sea
  • 411 - not assigned nationally by FCC, but used for directory assistance
  • 511 - travel information (FCC, 2000)

WA State 511 September 26, 2007

n11 codes continued
N11 codes - continued
  • 611 - not assigned nationally by FCC, but used by some phone company repair offices
  • 711 - access to Telecommunications Relay Services (FCC, 1997), operational in WA
  • 811 - underground utility locate services (call before you dig) (FCC, 2005)Live 07
  • 911 - emergency calls to police/fire (set by national law in 1999)

WA State 511 September 26, 2007

511 background
511 - Background
  • Washington State population 6,488,000 (OFM April 1, 2007 estimate)
  • Fixed phone service market share in Washington
    • 50% Qwest (formerly US West)
    • 25% Verizon (formerly GTE)
    • 25% Various smaller phone companies
  • Fixed phone service regulated by WUTC
  • Cell companies not regulated by WUTC

WA State 511 September 26, 2007

9 cell phone companies
9 Cell Phone Companies
  • Qwest Wireless
  • Sprint (includes Nextel)
  • AT&T Wireless (includes Cingular)
  • T-Mobile (formerly VoiceStream)
  • Verizon Wireless
  • U.S. Cellular
  • CellularOne
  • Inland Cellular
  • Rural Cellular Corporation

WA State 511 September 26, 2007

27 land line phone cos
27 Land Line Phone Cos.

CenturyTel, Com-Tech Systems, Inc

Comcast Digital Phone (formerly AT&T), Echelon Telecom

Electric Lightwave

Ellensburg Telephone Company, Hood Canal Telephone Company, Inc

Inland Telephone Company, Integra Telecom, Midvale Telephone

Northwest Telephone, Inc, Pend Oreille Telephone Company

Qwest Communications (formerly U.S. West)

Rainier Connect, Mashell Telecom, Local Access CommunicationsDBA: The Rainier Group

SmartStop, Inc, Sprint LTD, St John Telephone

TDS Telecom, Time Warner, Toledo Telephone Company, Inc

Verizon NW (formerly GTE), Whidbey Telephone Company

Wahkiakum West Telco, XO Communications, Ycom Networks

WA State 511 September 26, 2007

legacy and predicted demand
Legacy and Predicted Demand
  • Legacy Numbers:387,000 calls/month

800-84FERRY, 888-808-7977, 206-464-6400, 800-695-7623 (ROAD), 206-368-4499 (DOT-HIWY), 800-419-9085 (Hood Canal Bridge), and others.

  • Predicted for 511: 541,800 calls/month
  • Peak month: 421,600 calls Jan 06 (snow)

WA State 511 September 26, 2007

511 middle ground
511 – Middle Ground
  • Initially used voice-responsive system
    • Safety concerns
  • Multi-phase:
    • Phase 1, bare-bones (48 ports)
    • Phase 1B, more capacity (96 ports)
    • Phase 2, ultimate plan (now at 192 ports), as of March 2007. System appears robust, so far.

WA State 511 September 26, 2007

slide10
2004
  • Touch tone capability added

WA State 511 September 26, 2007

2006 upgrade
2006 Upgrade
  • Increased ports to 192
  • Direct connection to WSF
  • Redundant system with WSF
  • Upgraded speech recognition software
  • Increase refresh rate
  • Caller ID
  • Amber alert

WA State 511 September 26, 2007

usage
Usage
  • Summer = 40,000 calls per month
  • Winter = 450,000 calls per month
  • Total calls (2007) = 1.58 million
  • 7 millionth call = August 2008

WA State 511 September 26, 2007

application overview
Application Overview
  • The 511 System serves as a portal to a variety of Washington travel-related information systems. Later phases of system deployment may include information from surrounding states and provinces.(Direct connection to Oregon began Nov 04). Idaho and BC not yet.

WA State 511 September 26, 2007

application overview15
Application Overview
  • The main dialog prompts the caller for the information they are seeking (and since Nov 04, a touch-tone option). They are asked to select from the following in the voice-only area (reduced selection in touch-tone):
    • Real-time traffic for the central Puget Sound area
    • Roadway conditions and construction information
    • Mountain passes (road restrictions and weather)
    • Ferry Information (direct link, anyway)
    • Other {express lane status, public transit (phone numbers only), passenger rail (phone numbers only), airline information (phone numbers only), adjacent states and provinces (phone numbers only)}.

WA State 511 September 26, 2007

application overview16
Application Overview
  • Weather information for any city in state

Dial 511 from any phone

Say, “Weather.”

Say any city name

Hear current and forecast weather

Based on location coordinates and UW weather information feed

WA State 511 September 26, 2007

public acceptance
Public Acceptance
  • Customer survey in 2005
    • 649 participants
  • Usability testing
    • 6 participants

WA State 511 September 26, 2007

survey results
Survey Results
  • Information from 511 used to change travel plans
  • Users generally satisfied
  • Voice recognition needs improvement
  • More statewide information
  • Likely to use the system again (87%)

WA State 511 September 26, 2007

current issues
Current Issues
  • Private branch exchanges (PBXs) may need to be programmed to allow a 511 call to gain access to the public switched network.
  • External Marketing: PSAs, VMSs, HARs, 60 fixed signs statewide, brochures, fridge magnets, message on existing toll-free line.
  • Internal marketing

WA State 511 September 26, 2007

lesson learned
Lesson Learned
  • Voice-only doesn’t work with cell phones all the time because of background noise. Why? Cell phone microphones are designed to pick up a large radius of sound, since the microphone is not placed directly in front of the mouth. This means any background noises are also picked up. It is hard for voice recognition software to separate the voice and the background. So touch-tone capability was added.

WA State 511 September 26, 2007

lesson learned21
Lesson Learned
  • WSDOT’s approach was to own or lease equipment and operate system in-house
    • Total deployment cost = $1.4 million
    • O & M costs (07-09 biennium) = $724,000
  • Other state DOTs chose to lease service
    • Low initial cost
    • Fee per call

WA State 511 September 26, 2007

benefits to travelers
Benefits to Travelers
  • Cell phone users have access to subset of information on Internet
  • Ferry system changes
  • ADA information for disabled travelers
  • 511 can be almost “hands free”
  • Real time traffic information (Seattle now, VAST in future?-get detection installed)

WA State 511 September 26, 2007

slide23

511 Deployment Status

as of September 4, 2007

= 511 Operational (“Live”)

Accessible by 44.4% of Population

Accessible by 44.4% of Population

= Expected “Live” in 2008

D.C.

Accessible by 65% of Population in 2008

future plans issues
Future Plans/Issues
  • One-stop-shop for all travel information
    • Transit, trains, airlines, etc.
  • Level of integration
    • Local, statewide, regional, national

WA State 511 September 26, 2007

homework
Homework
  • Case 1 Technologies
    • Bluetooth
    • RFID
    • RFID + LPI/R
    • LPR
    • Good to Go tags
    • GPS units

WA State 511 September 26, 2007

homework26
Homework
  • Case 2 technologies
    • GPS
    • Cell phones

WA State 511 September 26, 2007

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