The Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) today announced the newest addition to its award-winning 511 SF Bay service with the launch of a text-based mass notification feature for travelers in the nine-county San Francisco Bay Area. Known as 511 Emergency Alerts, this new service will inform users, who opt-in to receive alert messages, of transportation emergencies including freeway closures and severe transit disruptions.
“A high-magnitude earthquake, tsunami, terrorist attack or other catastrophe likely would have a significant impact on roadways and transit systems alike,” noted Janet Banner, MTC’s 511 Program Manager. “We’re using the latest technology to increase travelers’ awareness of how transportation is affected during large-scale emergencies. 511’s accurate and timely delivery of information during an emergency will help protect travelers’ safety, and help them understand their transportation options and to adjust travel plans accordingly if necessary.”
511 Emergency Alerts is powered by Nixle, a unit of Burlington, Mass.-based Everbridge, Inc., and a leader in mass notification systems, which allows 511 to provide alerts using a reliable and consistent service. Customers who opt-in will receive accurate and timely information gathered from various government sources and sent directly to their mobile devices, free of charge, via SMS text message. The emergency text alerts will complement the free traveler information 511 SF Bay already provides on 511.org, on the 511 phone service, via social media on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, as well as through open data feeds.
Users can sign up for 511 Emergency Alerts by simply using their mobile phone to text 511Alert (no space) to 888777. After subscribing, an automated text message response will confirm the registration. While the text messages are free, users are encouraged to contact their wireless service provider to determine whether they will incur charges for receiving text messages on their mobile device. More information about 511 Emergency Alerts is available on 511.org/511Alert.
511 SF Bay is a one-stop phone and web source for up-to-the-minute Bay Area traffic, transit, carpool, vanpool, and bicycling information. It’s free of charge and available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week from anywhere in the nine-county Bay Area. Call 511 or visit 511.org. 511 is managed by a partnership of public agencies led by MTC, the California Highway Patrol, Bay Area transit agencies, and Caltrans.
MTC is the transportation planning, financing and coordinating agency for the nine-county San Francisco Bay Area.
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