Governor Deval Patrick and MassDOT today announced the launch of a new Massachusetts 511 traveler information service that for the first time is available to travelers throughout the state.
Beginning this week, 511 traveler information will be expanded statewide and drivers will have the opportunity to receive personalized travel information alerts via email, text or telephone. Drivers can access the new service by dialing 511 on their cell phones or logging onto www.mass.gov/511 to register to receive personalized updates. MassDOT reminds drivers to avoid using their cell phones while driving and encourages travelers to call into the 511 service before they leave.
The new 511 is the result of an innovative public-private partnership with Sendza, a growing Massachusetts communications-software company, and will come at no cost to the state, resulting in $4.1 million in one-time savings and $1.2 million in annual savings for MassDOT. Previous 511 service only covered communities in eastern Massachusetts.
The legacy 511 system handled approximately 500,000 calls per month. The Sendza-based Mass511 system is capable of not only maintaining this volume of calls, but also allows room for significant growth as the system's user base expands. Sendza's software-as-a-service message platform provides Mass511 message services and defrays costs by packaging marketing programs from sponsors. The initial sponsor of the new Mass511 is Massachusetts based Safety Insurance.
3 Key Steps for Using the New 511 System for the First Time by Phone:
1. Dial 511 from any cellphone.
2. After the introductory message, enter the route numbers of interest to you. For example, for information on Interstate 93, press "93".
3. As reports are being delivered, press 1 to skip a segment, press 2 to skip a route, and press 3 to enter a new route.
3 Ways to Personalize Routes on the New 511 Service:
1. Simply call 511 and enter the route numbers of interest to you. Travel information for these routes is automatically provided the next time you call, minimizing the need to constantly re-enter your routes again and again. Sendza's system remembers the last three routes you asked for from your last call.
2. Set-up hands-free 511. Go to www.mass.gov/511, login and choose your routes off a map. The selected routes are used each time you call 511 so no key presses are needed unless you require additional routes.
3. Text or Email alerts sent to you. Same as #2 above, go to www.mass.gov/511, login and choose your routes off a map. Select "Send Alerts" radio button. You will now receive texts or email alerts on adverse conditions for your selected routes to view.
MassDOT's Online Traffic Resources:
o New 511 Traveler Information Service: Drivers can customize their 511 experience by visiting www.mass.gov/511 or by using their cell phone to call 511.
o Online Traffic Cameras: www.mass.gov/511/cameras
o Interactive Map of Planned Construction Events are here.