Virginia improves 511 service

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The Virginia Department of Transportation says it recently upgraded its 511 traffic-information service, incorporating suggestions by users. Drivers in Virginia can dial 511 for information about road conditions, construction delays and other incidents that will affect travel.

As of Aug. 1, the new phone system includes:

  • Improved voice-recognition software;
  • New features such as bridge and tunnel information, public transportation options and emergency messages; and
  • Easier navigation to the most popular features.
  • Those calling from out of state can access Virginia 511 via a new toll-free number, 866-695-1182.

    Virginia, which is one of roughly 30 states currently offering a 511 system, launched its system statewide in February 2005 after piloting the program in the Shenandoah Valley. Since its inception in 2002 as Travel Shenandoah, 511 Virginia has received 3.7 million calls and 1.4 million visits to its website, www.511virginia.org, where all the same traffic information is displayed.