The Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) today announced the addition of a fully-interactive Spanish language voice recognition and response system to the Bay Area’s 511 phone system. This latest expansion of the toll-free 511 traveler information service allows Spanish-speaking drivers, carpoolers and transit riders to access all the options that have been used more than 80 million times by English-speaking callers.
Spanish-speaking callers who are planning a trip or already on the go can now simply dial 511 and then press *3 to enter into Spanish mode, and then navigate through a state-of-the-art speech recognition system to access all of 511’s interactive tools, including real-time transit departure times, traffic conditions, current driving times, and real-time parking availability. As with English, the Spanish service also provides callers with important traveler information and free transfers to 511 Freeway Assist, Clipper®, FasTrak®, public transit and paratransit agency call centers, and more.
“The Bay Area is once again leading the way for other 511 programs around the country,” said Brooke Fotheringham, MTC’s 511 Program Coordinator. “We’re pleased to deliver a comprehensive and fully interactive Spanish voice recognition and response system for 511 callers, and we’re proud to expand our reach to even more Bay Area travelers.”
The Bay Area 511 system receives more than 425,000 calls in a typical month, including nearly 1,500 calls connecting users with non-emergency freeway towing services. The Spanish language service already has handled more than 5,500 calls since a trial run began this April.
Launched in 2002, the Bay Area’s award-winning 511 service is a one-stop phone and web source for up-to-the-minute traffic, transit, carpool, and parking information. The service is free of charge and available 24 hours a day, seven days a week from anywhere in the nine-county Bay Area. Call 511 or visit 511.org.
511 was developed with the mission to provide comprehensive, accurate, reliable and useful information to meet the needs of Bay Area travelers. The Bay Area 511 service is managed by a partnership of public agencies led by MTC, the California Highway Patrol and Caltrans. It is part of a national network of 511 services promoted by the United States Department of Transportation’s Intelligent Transportation Systems initiative.