511 Traveler Information

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511 Traveler Information

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Visit the Florida Department of Transportation's 511 Website

511 Article: "Florida 511 Provides Time-Saving Traffic Information for Tampa"

511 Frequently Asked Questions

What is 511?
How did 511 begin?
Is 511 available in the Tampa Bay region?
What information is available through 511 Tampa Bay?
How do I download the iPhone app?
What features are available for the app?
How can I check traffic on Twitter?
Who provides 511 Service?
What roads are covered by 511 in Tampa Bay?
How is traffic information gathered?
How much does a call to 511 cost users?
Can users call at anytime?
How do 511 phone users hear traffic information?
What are some tips for navigating the 511 phone system?
What are Public Safety Alerts?
What does it mean to "Know Before You Go"?
What is the difference between the Florida Highway Patrol's *FHP and 511?
What is the difference between 911 and 511?

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What is 511?

511 is a simple, easy-to-remember three digit phone number for traffic and travel information. Travelers can also receive traffic information by visiting www.FL511.com, downloading the 511 app on iTunes or following 511 on Twitter...

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How did 511 begin?

The Federal Communications Commission designated 511 as the single traffic information telephone number for use by states and local jurisdictions on July 21, 2000. Since then, many states and cities have implemented 511 traffic information services to benefit travelers, and eventually the single-number service should be available nationwide. The service is provided free of charge.

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Is 511 available in the Tampa Bay region?

Yes. The 511 phone system is available statewide for residents and visitors throughout Florida. The system is fully operational on a 24/7 basis. The Florida 511 app uses the iPhone's GPS tracking to provide users with traffic information within miles of the user's location. The app also provides traffic information by searching for a specific city or county in Florida.

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What information is available through 511 Tampa Bay?

The 511 system provides traffic on all of Florida's interstates, toll roads and many major metropolitan roadways. Traffic cameras and are available on www.FL511.com. Users can also register for personalized services on FL511.com. By registering for My Florida 511 personalized services at FL511.com, users can hear traffic updates and travel times on their custom routes first when calling 511. Additionally, users can register to receive traffic alerts on these routes via a phone call, e-mail and/or text message. Travelers can customize their alerts based on time of day, day of the week and type or severity of incidents.

The 511 web site and telephone system provides users with access to state-of-the-art traveler information, including:

  • Current traffic information for interstates and toll roads
  • Public safety alerts for the Tampa Bay area, including Amber alerts, Silver alerts and LEO alerts
  • Live-camera images for select roadways (website only)

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How do I download the iPhone app?

The Florida 511 app can be downloaded for free on the iTunes App Store. The app is available for the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch. 

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What features are available for the app?

The Florida 511 app uses the iPhone's GPS tracking to provide users with traffic information within miles of the user's location or receive traffic information based on their registered My Florida 511 custom routes. Travel time information is also available based on location and direction of travel. The app also features traffic camera views associated with crashes, congestion and other incidents on all of Florida's interstates and toll roads.

The Florida 511 app offers traffic information in four ways:

  • An audible recording of incidents
  • On-screen list of incidents
  • Map view displaying incidents
  • Traffic camera views associated with incidents
     

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How can I check traffic on Twitter?

511 offers 12 regional and major roadway Twitter accounts. The accounts are updated 24/7 with real-time traffic information. A list of all 511 Twitter accounts can be found at www.fl511.com/Twitter.aspx.

511 Twitter accounts for Tampa Bay include:
 

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Who provides 511 service?

The service is provided by the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT).

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What roads are covered by 511 Tampa Bay?

Traffic information is provided for I-4, I-75, I-175, I-275, I-375, Suncoast Parkway, Polk Parkway and SR-60 by the Tampa International Airport.

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How is traffic information gathered?

Roadside sensors monitor traffic along portions of the Tampa Bay area Interstate network of I-275, I-4 and I-75 using approximately 100 solar powered, wireless sensors to gather lane-by-lane data on speeds and vehicle counts. The data permits the calculation of travel times which are refreshed at 60-second intervals. Road condition information is also collected from a variety of sources, including police scanners, FDOT Road Rangers, the Florida Highway Patrol, cameras and web monitoring.

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How much does a call to 511 cost users?

511 is a public service of the state of Florida and the telecommunications industry. 511 is toll-free. Standard cell phone minutes or text message charges may apply.

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Can users call anytime?

Like the FL511.com website, the 511 phone service is available to the public 24/7 for traffic information.

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How do 511 users hear traffic information?

Ask for "Traffic" at the Main Menu, then ask for a city, county or roadway. For example, say, "I-4" or "Hillsborough County."

511 will tell you the number of incidents currently active on the roadway or in the area you picked. Then narrow down your search or ask for "all reports" to hear about all active incidents.

*Quick Tip: If you know the roadway for which you want information, you can say the roadway name or number during the system greeting. This can help you get the information more quickly.

*Quick Tip: Ask for "All Reports" to hear all the information that may affect your commute. Ex: a crash on the northbound side of the road may cause congestion for travelers heading southbound.

*Quick Tip: In regions with multiple 511-covered highways, ask for information by County to determine if incidents on other highways may affect your commute.

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What are some tips for navigating the 511 phone system?

We encourage callers to speak as clearly as possible and minimize any background noise -- including radios and open windows. Callers can say "help" for instructions and "main menu" at any time to start over. You can also interrupt 511 if you already know your selection.

The FL511.com website is another great way to plan your route and to make sure you "know before you go."

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What are Public Safety Alerts?

The 511 system is updated with public safety alerts from various government and law-enforcement agencies. These alerts include AMBER, Silver and LEO Alerts. AMBER Alerts notify the public of child-abduction cases. Silver Alerts notify the public when law enforcement agencies are searching for missing adults or citizens with cognitive impairments, including Alzheimer's disease or other forms of dementia. Law Enforcement Officer (LEO) Alerts notify the public when law enforcement officers are searching for an offender(s) who has seriously injured or killed a law enforcement officer.

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What does it mean to "Know Before You Go"?

The FDOT's most important priority is safety. FDOT encourages all motorists to check 511 before traveling. To check traffic on the road, travelers should check 511 from a rest stop or have a passenger check 511.

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What is the difference between the Florida Highway Patrol's *FHP and 511?

Star FHP (*347) is used to report drunk drivers, traffic crashes, stranded or disabled motorists, or any suspicious incidents occurring on Florida's roadways. 511 is a non-emergency traveler information number.

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What is the difference between 911 and 511?

911 is used to report emergencies, the need for police or medical attention. 511 is a non-emergency traveler information number.

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