Use simple menu choices for 511 traveler information and realize that the majority of callers are seeking en route information while already encountering congestion.
Experience from iFlorida Model Deployment
- Consider the needs of existing users when changing the 511 menu structure. The iFlorida deployment resulted in a significant change to the previously existing 511 menu structure. This change was necessary so that the 511 system could accommodate all the additional roads brought into the system by iFlorida. When the new 511 system was put into use, FDOT received a number of complaints from existing 511 users about the new menu. It appeared that many of these users may have reduced their usage once the new system was in place. Putting in place a mechanism to accommodate these existing users, such as providing access to the old menu structure, could have reduced the number of complaints received and the drop in callers that occurred.
- Beware that the voice recognition system can be a source of problems with 511 systems. About one time in seven, the iFlorida 511 system rejected a user utterance as an invalid command. Because most calls required the user to make several commands to reach the desired information, almost 50 percent of calls included at least one case where the system rejected a user utterance. This meant that a number of 511 calls ended without the caller receiving any traffic information. FDOT's My511 program helped reduce the number of commands needed to reach traveler information for those that registered with the system.
- Realize that most travelers call 511 for information about unusual traffic conditions en route, rather than daily trip planning. In a typical week, less than 300 users called the system at least four times during the week on at least three different days. Of the users that called frequently in a given week, less than half called frequently in the following week. This implied that few 511 callers use the system for daily trip planning. Instead, it appeared that most callers used the system to find out more information about unusual traffic conditions of which they were already aware.
- Consider that only a few callers took advantage of traveler information available for Orlando arterials and toll roads. About 80 percent of the requests for traffic information from the Central Florida 511 system were for I-4 and I-95, with requests for information on toll roads and arterials being about 15 and 5 percent of calls, respectively. A survey of travelers in the Orlando area indicated that the traveler information of greatest interest to the respondents was related to diversions and detours, such as instructions for how to bypass an incident that has occurred.
Author: Robert Haas (SAC); Mark Carter (SAIC); Eric Perry (SAIC); Jeff Trombly (SAIC); Elisabeth Bedsole (SAIC): Rich Margiotta (Cambridge Systematics)
Published By: United States Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE Washington, DC 20590
Source Date: 01/30/2009
EDL Number: 14480URL: http://ntl.bts.gov/lib/31000/31000/31051/14480.htm
Average User Rating
Lesson of the Month for April, 2011 !