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67 Almost all of the 511 administrators who were inter- 3.5.4 Transit-Related 511 Operating Statistics viewed were well aware of the 511 Deployment Coalition's All of the 511 systems with transit content track transit- guidance on transit content when they made their transit related use of their systems but most do not share that infor- decisions (several interviewees indicated that the decisions mation with transit agencies because the transit agencies were made prior to the guidance and that no system changes have never asked for the information. Two exceptions are San have been made since). Although some administrators fol- Diego, where the administrator of the SANDAG 511 system lowed the recommendations, others did not and do not shares quarterly statistics with a steering committee that in- seem concerned about it (that is, did not view the exclusion cludes transit agencies, and Georgia, where statistics are shared of transit or providing less than the minimum recommended with all 511 participating agencies on a weekly and as-needed content as compromising the concept of 511 as a multimodal basis. Some 511 system administrators suspect that the lack of resource.) interest in transit-related statistics is due to the fact that transit constitutes such a very low proportion of 511 use (Arizona 3.5.2 Satisfaction with Current Content estimates that fewer than 1% of their calls include a transit- and Plans for Changes related menu selection). Most of the agencies without transit information are gen- erally not concerned with the fact that their 511 system is not 3.6 Transit Rider Focus Group multimodal and they do not have plans for changes. One exception is the Washington State Department of Transporta- The focus group was held on January 7, 2009, and included tion, which hopes to add a call-transfer option. Other states six participants--five men and one woman. All were experi- anticipated improvements in information for other travel enced transit riders, and the majority had been UTA riders for markets, including tourism (Georgia) and freight (Iowa), but quite some time (e.g., one participant had been riding since have no plans to change their approach to transit. 1985). Several of the participants do not drive or have auto- Several of the systems with transit information have plans mobiles, and one had experience with the Utah 511 system. for improvement. The Arizona system recently added four All participants use UTA fixed-route bus services, and the rural transit agencies to its 511 system and would consider majority had used the UTA light rail system. adding more. The Boston area system wants to use market- After the welcome by UTA, the study team described the ing activities to attract more transit users to its site. Boston purpose of the focus group and offered ground rules for par- and San Diego would like to utilize global positioning sys- ticipants to observe while providing input. The results of the tem technology to add location-sensitive transit informa- focus group are divided into two subsections describing par- tion. Alaska expects to include transit information on their ticipants' experience with transit information and reactions updated 511 website and may consider a call-transfer option to an automated transit information system, and experience in the future. and reactions to the Utah 511 system. Some agencies would like to add additional transit infor- Focus group results are organized into two main sections, mation or features but have not done so due to funding the first pertaining to the participants' perceptions with constraints. San Diego would like to provide travelers with automated transit telephone information in general and real-time alerts to vehicle delays when funding permits. Utah the second pertaining to their perceptions with the Utah 511 would like to incorporate real-time travel transit information system, including the transit component. These two sets of (vehicle arrival/departure times) into their 511 system when findings relate, respectively, to the two objectives of the focus funding is available. group, which are as follows: To investigate transit users' perceptions regarding the 3.5.3 Transit Agency Funding Participation types of transit information that are believed to be of most None of the twelve 511 systems receive any funding from value to travelers (schedules, fares, disruptions, arrival/ transit agencies. The only system to cite the lack of transit- departure times) and that can be handled effectively by an related funding as playing any role in their fundamental IVR (i.e., without an operator), regardless of whether that decision to include transit was the Oregon Department of system is operated by an individual transit agency or is a Transportation, which explained that their 511 program is 511 system; and funded with highway-based (gas tax) revenues that cannot To investigate the fundamental rationale for providing be used for transit. transit information on 511.