KY Transportation Cabinet Launches 511 Traveler Information Number
FRANKFORT, KY - Just in time for holiday travel, a new service to assist Kentucky's travelers was launched by Gov. Paul Patton. By dialing three digits, 5-1-1, callers can now get traffic, travel and road weather information 24 hours, 7 days a week. The Governor said, "This new service will assist commuters, vacationers, highway travelers and the trucking industry in finding the quickest and safest way to get from point "a" to point "b" in the commonwealth." Kentucky Transportation Cabinet Secretary James C. Codell, III explained that, "The system will assist travelers with easier, faster and safer routes. The information will be available to callers with an interactive voice recognition technology that allows callers to use the phone system without punching buttons. Initially, only road condition information for Kentucky's interstates, parkways and other major routes will be available, however, conditions for other state-maintained roads will be phased in over the next few years." Employees in the 12 district Transportation Cabinet offices, Kentucky State Police, Kentucky Vehicle Enforcement officers and employees in four regional operations centers will supply the data to the system, which will be updated every five minutes. During the first 30 days of operation, users will have the ability to record a comment about the system. The program will be learning pronunciations and eliminating misinterpretations for the first three months. All 20 land line phone companies and all wireless carriers, except Verizon Wireless, have set up their systems to answer 511 calls. Calls to this line are free, with the exception of roaming and airtime charges on wireless calls. Verizon Wireless is in the process of adding this service for their customers and it should be available next week. Information cards on the new 511 service will be available in rest areas, welcome centers, on road signs throughout the state. The official 511 Website, http://www.511.ky.gov, also provides this new travel information service. Currently, none of the seven states adjacent to Kentucky have a state-wide 511 system. "It is our hope that 511 will eventually become the shortest distance between two points for those visiting our commonwealth," the Governor said.