Office of Operations 511 Travel Information Telephone Services
Photo collage of 511 advertisements from Iowa, Minnesota, Florida, Montana and Virginia, and a photo of a man talking on a cellular telephone.
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511 Case Study Overview - Michigan

511 Case Study Overview - Greater Detroit Region

At least thirteen traffic, transit, and transportation-information telephone systems are currently in operation in the southeastern Michigan / Windsor, Ontario region. The focus of this case study was specifically on the three county area – Wayne, Oakland, and Macomb - which is a subset of the region's seven county Southeast Michigan Council of Governments (SEMCOG).

Michigan DOT's MITS Center is the clearinghouse for real-time freeway information for greater Detroit and the real-time ITS and incident information collected at the MITS Center is the most pertinent for a near term 511 phone system when initiated in Southeastern Michigan. MDOT's only existing statewide phone system provides construction information for the state highway system by dialing toll free 800-641-MDOT.

511 Vision

The Michigan Department of Transportation has identified that the successful implementation of 511 statewide requires a consolidation of all currently operating traveler information telephone numbers under a single point of contact. It is envisioned that Michigan's future statewide 511 system would be anchored by two regional 511 service areas - Detroit/SEMCOG and Grand Rapids - overlaid by a statewide default system (possibly an enhanced version of the existing statewide construction hotline) in all other areas of Michigan. The granularity of the rural area information should not be expected to be the same as within the Detroit and Grand Rapids areas. The greater Detroit area 511 should include southern Ontario in its watershed.

Ongoing Activities

MDOT has decided to do a one-year 511 pilot program before accepting competitive bids. It is anticipated that the pilot program would begin in the greater Detroit area and possibly cover the entire seven-county SEMCOG region.

  • Kick-off Session - Ameritech (the major ILEC for Michigan) and MDOT will host a meeting of all appropriate agencies to discuss all of the major 511 implementation issues.
  • Implementation Plan - MDOT will develop an action plan and Ameritech will file a tariff with the MPSC for 511; all other LECs and the wireless carriers would need to decide on filing own tariffs to connect to main service (Ameritech).

Lessons Learned

  • Lead implementing agency must consider all available public transportation providers
  • Service across both state lines and international borders must be ensured
  • Strong public awareness and marketing campaigns should accompany 511 implementation
  • Private sector transportation providers should be consulted throughout all phases of deployment

March 1, 2001

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