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63 Although she could not reflect on the original MTA deci- additional information with PSTA's telephone number, but sion making in regard to 511 (if there was any), the MTA rep- a direct transfer is not available. resentative did share her perspective on the potential pros and cons of 511 participation that were included in our inter- Rationale for participation. The 511 system operator view guide. She cited the following factors as supporting the did not provide PSTA the option of having a call transfer notion of 511 participation: from 511 to the PSTA customer service center, or any other options beyond their current participation (listing their cus- Want to include transit in a multimodal traveler informa- tomer service phone number). tion system--want to keep "a place at the table"; and Want to be a good partner with the 511 system adminis- Impacts. PSTA has a fully staffed call center that is avail- trator (the state DOT). able to the public 7 days a week. The agency does not object to having 511 give out their telephone number, but they do She identified the following factors as potential concerns not feel that replaces their call center. or factors that may argue against 511 participation ("poten- PSTA did not identify any impacts associated with partic- tial" because MTA has not actually experienced any of these ipating in the Tampa Bay 511 system. They have no objection impacts): to the system giving out the telephone number or directing callers to the agency website. Possible inconvenience to MTA callers who may call 511 Issues. Currently, the 511 system has a focus on real- only to find no information on MTA and will then need to time traffic incident reports. PSTA currently does not have make a separate call to MTA, the technology in place to provide information about service Cost of technology investments that might be needed to disruptions to the 511 system in a timely manner. However, support 511 participation, and PSTA is installing an automatic vehicle location (AVL) sys- Need to provide data to 511 in specific formats dictated by tem for their buses and expects to be able to offer real-time the 511 administrator. information to riders. Impacts. No impacts were identified for participation in Outlook. Once PSTA's AVL system is operational, the the 511 system. MTA has not received any information that agency may increase their 511 involvement by providing real- shows how the system is working or how callers are using the time information. information. 3.4.2.3 King County Metro Transit (Seattle) Issues. MTA did not identify any issues associated with 511. It should be noted that when the research team tested King County Metro (Metro) provides transit service the traveler information link on the511 website, the link was throughout the Seattle metropolitan area. This multimodal not active. agency offers bus, trackless trolley, streetcar, and paratran- sit services for the disabled and operates the largest publicly Outlook. MTA believes that the 511 system may be of operated vanpool program in the county. With a service area potential value to them and that having information about of 2,100 sq mi, Metro provided 96.6 million unlinked trips in user behavior would help MTA better understand the value 2005. The agency has about 1,300 vehicles. (58) of the 511 system to the agency. Metro maintains two separate call centers; one provides itinerary planning and the other handles complaints. The trip planning call center is available 24 h per day, 7 days per week. 3.4.2.2 Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority The complaint center has standard weekday business hours. (Tampa Bay) The Washington State Department of Transportation spon- Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority (PSTA), located in sors the statewide 511 system. The system, which became op- St. Petersburg, Florida, operates public transit services in erational in 2003, provides telephone numbers for the state's Pinellas County. PSTA's service area covers 226 sq mi with a transit agencies but does not allow a direct transfer. population of 882,000. In 2005, the system served 10.5 mil- lion trips on 43 bus routes. (57) Rationale for participation. We were unable to locate The Tampa Bay 511 system includes general prerecorded anyone at Metro who could provide any information on why information about PSTA, as well as information about major or how Metro made decisions about participation in the 511 service disruptions. The 511 system provides callers seeking system. It is not clear whether they have intentionally restricted