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511, America's traveler information number. Deployment assistance report #4, 511 regional interoperability issues
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    On July 21, 2000, the FCC designated 511 as the United States' national travel information telephone number. The FCC ruling leaves nearly all implementation issues and schedules to state and local agencies and telecommunications carriers. In early 2001, mindful of both the opportunity and challenge that 511 presents, the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO), in conjunction with many other organizations including the American Public Transportation Association (APTA) and the Intelligent Transportation Society of America (ITS America), with the support of the U.S. DOT, established the 511 Deployment Coalition (Coalition). The Coalition has established as its goal "the timely establishment of a national 511 traveler information service available to a majority of Americans by 2005 that is sustainable and provides value to users." The Coalition recognizes that 511 services will be developed in a bottom-up fashion with state and local transportation agencies establishing services in areas and timeframes determined by them. An increasing number of 511 systems share boundaries and / or have significant travel in between them. This is also true along major travel corridors throughout the country. Callers in one metropolitan area may wish to dial 511 to find information not just for their local travels, but for their entire trip, which might include traveling through other metropolitan areas or regions and crossing state borders. This Deployment Assistance Report (DAR) is an outgrowth of the System Considerations section of the Consistency Guidelines. The purpose of this DAR is to offer 511 implementers technical advice on how to deal with callers who logically want information on transportation facilities and services outside of the area served by the 511 system. With the overlap and varied boundaries of agencies, regions, travel patterns and the unknowns of cellular routing, 511 deployers need to look beyond their borders to make 511 a success with the traveling public. If 511 developers, deployers and operators accomplish regional interoperability through data sharing, then we may achieve national interoperability ultimately as well. This national interoperability may ultimately yield a 511 system where the caller may be asked, "City and state, please." Whether considering a call transfer or a data transfer option, the current expectation is not for full national availability of information via a local 511 service, rather for full information availability within a region plus relevant travel corridors to and from the region. For those implementing systems, this DAR is intended to provide you with the best information available on options for call transfers and data sharing. These are the primary means available today to provide information from outside your region to callers. This document is available also in MSWord and PDF versions hyperlinked from the beginning of this HTML version.
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