A Traveler Information Center was designed to collect, process, and disseminate information directly to the public through TravInfo, a Travel Advisory Telephone System (TATS) and internet service. TravInfo provided updates on traffic conditions, carpooling, highway construction, bicycling programs, transit and para-transit connections, and airport ground transportation. The Traveler Information Center received updated information from the California Highway Patrol’s computer-aided dispatch system, the Freeway Service Patrol, camera surveillance, airborne traffic reporters, public cell phone callers, and the Transportation Management Center.
The FOT project evaluators used field observations, focus group discussions, in-person interviews, and mail-back surveys to assess the effectiveness of TravInfo. Survey forms were targeted at four different types of users: 1) Bay area households (Broad Area Study), 2) Commuters in the case study corridor (Target Study), 3) TATS callers (TATS caller study), and 4) Internet web site users (Internet information service provider study).
Based on the survey results only 9 percent of households were aware of TravInfo, and less than 1 percent of the Bay area commuters who used traveler information used TravInfo. Considering the low market penetration of TravInfo it produced little change in the overall performance of the Bay area transportation system.
"Although the impact of TravInfo on the overall transportation system was insignificant, it was reported that TravInfo was able to influence travel behavior far more effectively than radio or television broadcasts." The survey results indicated that 25 percent of travelers changed their travel behavior after receiving relevant information from radio or television broadcasts, 45 percent changed their travel behavior after receiving information from TATS, and 81 percent changed their travel behavior after receiving specific route information from the internet service.
User Response to the Telephone Assisted Traveler Information System in the San Francisco Bay Area (TATS) (October 1998).