MDOT launches 511 travel information service

From Press Reports

Residents and travelers in Mississippi are now able to access weather-related road conditions, construction and other relevant travel information by dialing 511.

In announcing 511’s deployment, Mississippi Department of Transportation officials said this service complements the agency’s existing traffic resources, MDOTtraffic.com and its mobile smartphone applications, in providing travelers with reliable, on-demand route-specific information for select routes.

As Mississippi’s first voice recognition travel information service, 511 is part of MDOT’s ongoing effort to provide consistent and reliable traveler information. MDOT customized the 511 service to meet the needs of the local traveling public, provide guidance to tourists visiting the state and as a resource to travelers during evacuations and other emergencies.

“Mississippi 511 offers travelers easy access to information valuable for both pre-trip planning and en route decision making,” said Transportation Commissioner Mike Tagert. “Motorists can dial 511, find out about current road conditions along their route and determine whether conditions are suitable for continued travel or seek an alternate route.”

Mississippi 511 is a free, statewide service that’s available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. It uses an interactive voice response system with speech recognition as the primary interface with callers, allowing for hands free operation.

Mississippi 511 features “My Commute,” which offers callers personalized travel information for predefined routes. Callers simply create a user account at MDOTtraffic.com and then define their “My Commute” route.

Traveler information is available in the Mississippi 511 system for all Interstates, and select U.S. highways and state routes, including U.S. highways 49, 49W, 49E, 61, 45, 45 ALT, 90, 98, 84, 82 (which goes through Webster County) and 78, and state routes 25, 6 and 302.

In using 511, MDOTtraffic.com or MDOT’s mobile smartphone application, travelers can obtain route-specific information including:

  • incident/accident information,
  • road construction and maintenance projects,
  • road closures, road diversions and major delays,
  • weather warnings and alerts,
  • emergency alerts including evacuations and amber alerts,
  • tourism information,
  • public transportation,
  • welcome centers and rest areas, and
  • travel times.

“Our goal is to provide reliable, route-specific information to motorists through as many avenues as possible,” said Transportation Commissioner Mike Tagert. “Our traffic resource options include text or email alerts; online, social media and smartphone applications; radio and television broadcasts and now 511. MDOT encourages motorists using 511 or any of its travel information tools to put safety first.”

Mississippi 511 is currently not available to Verizon customers.