WINTHROP, ME and WOBURN, MA — The Maine Department of Transportation (MDOT) and Verizon Wireless today announced availability of real-time, up-to-the-minute 511 Travel Information for Verizon Wireless subscribers in Central and Southern Maine.
511 Travel Information is available 24-hours a day and 7-days a week, either online at www.511maine.gov or by phone, providing residents and travelers with real-time information including highway traffic, road weather conditions and ferry service and transit. Updates such as 'reduced to one lane due to paving operations,' 'bridge maintenance underway,' 'accident,' or 'road closure' can be obtained before travelers get onto the roadways, and now can be obtained using wireless phones if already en route.
Through the toll-free call, users can request a specific report or information about a particular city or region or stretch of roadway from an automated system - or can navigate the system easily through a voice-prompted main menu. If information needs to be repeated, the system can be interrupted at any point during the call. In addition, road-related incidents that can potentially affect travel are updated in the system on an ongoing basis.
Other menu items include Regional Summary (for regional info rather than specific cities), Acadia National Park (for Mount Desert Island and Bar Harbor) and Help with 511, so that new users can be easily guided through the new service.
Commenting on the Verizon Wireless agreement, Department of Transportation Commissioner David A. Cole said, "The Department is committed to offer this essential travel information to Maine citizens through the interactive voice response system on all wireless and landline services. This agreement is a critical step forward to complete 511 connections. Now, travelers in our most populated area of the state can easily access up-to-the-minute traffic updates including major delays through their Verizon Wireless service."
The 511 Travel Information System was deployed on May 15, 2003 with thirty-five local exchange carriers and seven wireless carriers to connect the ten-digit toll-free access number to the three digit 511 number. Through this easy connection, residents and visitors alike can access travel information via the Internet, or by simply dialing the three digits 5-1-1 from either their landline or wireless phone. Verizon Wireless subscribers in Androscoggin, Cumberland and Sagadahoc Counties too can simply dial 511 for real-time travel information.
"Bringing beneficial services to our customers is a Verizon Wireless trademark," said Bob Stott, New England region president of Verizon Wireless. "We are pleased to have worked with the Maine Department of Transportation so that it can bring this free information service to wireless customers in central and southern Maine."
In the six weeks following telephone deployment, Maine DOT's 511 Travel Information System generated nearly 5,000 calls to the interactive voice response system, and the Web site has generated 182,000 page requests since its March 10, 2003 online rollout.
Remaining negotiations with landline and wireless providers are in progress, and are expected to be completed soon. Any customers not yet able to use the 511 three-digit number, can access the system by calling toll-free 1-866-282-7578.
About Verizon Wireless
Verizon Wireless is the nation's leading provider of wireless communications. The company has the largest nationwide wireless voice and data network and 34.6 million customers. Headquartered in Bedminster, NJ, Verizon Wireless is a joint venture of Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) and Vodafone (NYSE and LSE: VOD). Find more information on the Web at www.vzw.com.