Using 511 for Public Outreach During Regional Emergencies

511 has been a successful traveler information system in the Bay Area since the telephone number was adopted and launched in 2002. Planned and unplanned events in 2007 further evolved 511 from a traveler information resource to a key tool for public outreach to be used for emergency management and response. These events were: 1) the MacArthur Maze freeway collapse, 2) planned Bay Bridge closure over the 2007 Labor Day weekend, and 3) formal 511 participation in a 2007 regional emergency preparedness exercise with Caltrans and the California Highway Patrol. This paper will review each of these events along with specific lessons learned in using 511 as a tool for public outreach during emergencies. The most significant lesson learned was that the public and policymakers who regularly rely on 511 in the Bay Area automatically expected 511 to be a resource in emergencies. Fulfilling such expectations requires considerable investment in specific tools and operational protocols.


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: CD-ROM
  • Features: Maps; Photos;
  • Pagination: 11p
  • Monograph Title: ITS Connections: Saving Time. Saving Lives

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Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01146162
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Nov 30 2009 10:16AM