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40 Department of Transportation (FDOT) operates the Central LYNX's advice to other transit agencies is that they should Florida 511 system. consider 511 participation, barter with their 511 sponsors to LYNX information on 511 is included under the public see what sort of arrangement they can strike (e.g., LYNX's transportation main menu item. LYNX options are limited to deal to get free 511 participation in return for their market- three call transfer options (1) transit information that trans- ing of 511), and consider a 511 pilot demonstration. fers to LYNX's IVR; (2) access to LYNX, which transfers to LYNX's paratransit IVR; and (3) carpool, which transfers to 3.4.1.5 Island Explorer (Bar Harbor, Maine) LYNX's rideshare line. No other information on LYNX is provided on 511. Island Explorer, which is operated under contract by Down- east Transportation for the Maine Department of Transporta- Rationale for participation. Overall, LYNX indicated tion, provides seasonal (June to October) fixed-route bus ser- that they chose to participate in 511 because the 511 sponsor vice on eight bus routes serving towns on Maine's Mount gave them a "good deal," and that although they had no spe- Desert Island, including Bar Harbor and Acadia National Park. cific 511 objectives, LYNX simply wanted to participate, be The Island Explorer service began in 1999 and is supported involved, and be a supportive partner to the 511 sponsor. The by a number of public and private organizations, including "deal" they struck with FDOT was that in return for FDOT Acadia National Park, L.L. Bean and other businesses, and adding LYNX to the 511 system, including arranging and pay- Friends of Acadia, an independent, non-profit organization. ing for call transfers out of 511 to LYNX, LYNX agreed to sup- The statewide Maine 511 system is operated by the Maine port the overall 511 marketing effort by adding 511 references DOT and became operational in May 2003. Information on to their own marketing materials. Island Explorer is available on 511 via the "Acadia National Impacts. LYNX reports that they experienced only one Park" main menu item, under the Island Explorer submenu. impact as a result of their participation in 511. Per their During the operating season, automated real-time vehicle de- agreement with FDOT, they now include 511 on all of their parture times are available. During the off-season, a record- customer information materials and on all LYNX buses. ing is provided identifying the operating season and the fact LYNX has not observed any changes in their customer ser- that during the operating season, arrival time information is vice call volumes as a result of their 511 participation. They are available. provided some transit-related statistics showing only the num- Rationale for participation. Island Explorer's partici- ber of call transfers out of 511 to each of the three LYNX trans- pation in Maine 511 was partly tied to a large, multifaceted fer options on 511. In a typical month, about 350 calls will technology demonstration, an ITS field operational test that come to LYNX via 511. LYNX does not necessarily consider was sponsored jointly by U.S.DOT and the Department of these calls as 511 impacts because they do not know whether the Interior, and focused on travel in and around Acadia Na- these are "new" calls (which would be impacts) or they are tional Park. The objective of the test was to utilize technolo- from callers who would otherwise have called LYNX directly gies to reduce traffic congestion and improve the quality of (not an impact). the park visitor experience. Five of the nine technology com- LYNX does not currently view 511 as an alternative to their ponents that were deployed focused on Island Explorer and own IVR system, although they have not looked seriously provided the means to generate real-time vehicle departure at the issue. They cited two potential concerns. First, callers time estimates (e.g., automatic vehicle location) and dissem- would have to "wade through" the non-LYNX levels of the 511 inate them via electronic signs at selected stops. Telephone menu. Second, LYNX would have some concern about the information dissemination was not an explicit part of the on-going operations and maintenance of their information on 511, including periodic update processes. Having their Island Explorer deployment. However, the Maine 511 system own IVR allows them to maintain control and ensure quality was being developed around the same time and the 511 spon- control over these processes. sor, Maine DOT, thought it would be appropriate to include the Island Explorer information on 511. In this regard, Island Issues. LYNX identified no issues or problems with 511. Explorer did not pursue 511 participation in order to satisfy any specific operational objective and had no specific expec- Outlook. LYNX seems to view 511 as beneficial, but more tations, but rather, simply agreed with Maine DOT that their as a means to stay involved and supportive of their partner information was appropriate for 511. Island Explorer did not agencies than as a component of their customer service strat- carefully consider any pros and cons of participation. egy addressing any specific objectives. As they said, "we got a good deal and we wanted to be involved." LYNX currently Impacts. Downeast Transportation reports that they ex- has no changes planned in regard to participation in 511. perience no real impacts associated with their participation in