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VDOT awards contract for improvements to 511

The Virginia Department of Transportation on Wednesday took steps toward the next generation 511 Virginia traffic and travel information system when it awarded a five-year contract to Iteris, Inc. for the design, development and operation of a new enhanced phone and web-based 511 system. 511 Virginia provides free real-time information about road conditions, construction delays and other incidents to the traveling public.

The new contract also calls for Iteris to establish sponsorships for VDOT assets associated with 511 Virginia, including 511 road signs, traffic video feeds and website. Over the term of the five-year contract this sponsorship is projected to generate approximately $10 million in revenue, which is expected to offset the cost of operating the 511 Virginia system to Virginia taxpayers.

“To improve our transportation infrastructure and provide real-time traffic information, we must continue to explore non-traditional funding sources,” said Gov. Bob McDonnell.  “The 511 Virginia system includes valuable assets that offer opportunities for private-sector sponsorship, and we intend to take full advantage of that to offset operating costs of about $2.1 million annually.”

The new system will be implemented during the next six months and will include a number of new features and enhancements to the current system in place since 2008:

·       Improved voice recognition software to enable better communications using the latest technology

·       Easy-to-use menu with more functionality to enable quicker access to desired traffic information

·       New features that use email alerts to deliver personalized, real-time traffic information on roads of interest

·       Mobile solutions to include apps for iPhone, and Droid

·       Enhanced, more robust 511 Virginia website

“These enhancements will improve the user experience whether visiting the 511 Virginia website or by responsibly using the 511 phone service,” McDonnell said. “The traffic information provided by 511 Virginia is real-time, accurate and perhaps best of all, free. It’s one more tool available to help drivers learn the latest road conditions on their specific route and make adjustments to best avoid congestion.”

Since its inception in 2002, 511 Virginia has received more than 11 million calls and 8 million website visits.

The 511 Virginia service typically receives 200,000 calls each month. The system can be accessed by calling 511 from any land line or cell phone in Virginia or visiting

augusta free press
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