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65 ticipating in 511 would strain the capacity of its call center Ottumwa Transit Authority and 10-15 Regional Transit because they think that 511 could increase the total number Agency (Ottumwa/10-15) share the same staff and facilities, of calls they receive. including the same general manager. The agency employs a total of five office personnel, including the director. Customer Outlook. RTD may look for opportunities to participate service phone calls for both transit services are routed to the in 511. They feel 511 could be a benefit to the agency, especially same operators (office staff who have additional duties beyond if other transit agencies were included and that made available customer service phone support). Ottumwa/10-15 does not funds to support RTD 511 participation. This suggests that operate an IVR. they think participating in 511 could involve costs to RTD. Ottumwa/10-15 report that although they expressed inter- est to IDOT in participating in the 511 system, feeling that they Iowa 511 had information of interest to the public, IDOT expressed no interest in including them on the system. Ottumwa explains The Iowa statewide 511 system is operated by the Iowa that their motivation for wanting to be involved in 511 was Department of Transportation. The system became opera- general, reflecting both a desire to "come to the table" and tional in November 2002. The Iowa 511 system contains be involved, as well as "just another way to let our customers only traffic and road-weather information (i.e., icy roads, know that we're out here." Ottumwa/10-15 had no expecta- high winds, etc.). No information on transit is included on tions or concerns in regard to whether and how participa- the system. tion in 511 could impact the volume of calls to their agency. Des Moines Area Transit Authority. The Des Moines They indicated that they saw no downside associated with Area Transit Authority (DART) provides fixed and flexible 511 participation. routes, paratransit service, and vanpools in the Des Moines, IA, metropolitan area. DART covers a service area of 141 sq mi Tri-Met (Portland) with a population of 369,000. In 2005, DART provided 4.2 mil- lion one-way trips. (60) The Tri-County Metropolitan Transit District of Oregon DART staffs a call center 7 days a week. DART also distrib- (Tri-Met) is a multimodal transit agency serving greater Port- utes information to its customers through its website, e-mail, land. Tri-Met's service network includes a 44-mi light-rail and area employers. system, 92 bus lines, and specialized service for seniors and people with disabilities. Tri-Met's service area encompasses Rationale for participation. The Iowa 511 system does 574 sq mi with a population of 1.3 million people. In 2005, not include information from any transit agencies. Based on Tri-Met provided more than 104 million one-way trips. Tri- our conversation with DART, it seems likely that DART was Met directly operates 623 vehicles and utilizes a contractor to not given the opportunity to participate in 511, and therefore operate 233 demand-response vehicles. (62) they have not really given it any formal consideration. Tri-Met's customer service center provides assistance Outlook. DART has focused on providing information to with trip planning from 7:30 A.M. to 5:30 P.M. Monday through its customers through its website, call center, and relationships Friday. In addition, TransitTrackerTM provides schedules with area businesses. They do not see participation in 511 as and real-time arrival information via telephone or web 24 h critically important to their operation and believe that most per day. people who go to 511 are looking for roadway information. The Oregon Department of Transportation operates the state's 511 system, which has been operational since 2003. Ottumwa Transit Authority and 10-15 Regional Transit Transit information is not included. Agency. Ottumwa's transit agency is, strictly speaking, two organizations that serve two different functions. As the 10-15 Rationale for participation. The Oregon 511 system Regional Transit Agency, they provide demand-response ser- contains no transit information and Tri-Met was not invited vice, which is open to the general public in the 11-county, to participate in the system when it was originally developed "Region 15" area, as defined by the Iowa Department of Trans- and implemented. However, after the 511 system was opera- portation (IDOT) Office of Public Transit. The total size of the tional, Tri-Met did become aware of 511, called some of the 10-15 service area is approximately 5,470 sq mi; the total 2000 511 systems around the country, and read the 511 Deployment population was approximately 178,000. The Ottumwa Tran- Coalition guidance. They then approached their 511 system sit Authority provides fixed-route and demand-response bus administrator to explore the possibility of adding themselves transit service within the City of Ottumwa, IA, in a 16-sq-mi and other transit agencies to the 511 system. It seems that the area with a population of about 25,000. (61) 511 system administrator was at least open to the possibility,