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74 The second issue, at least for Broward County Transit, con- statistics (in some cases telling them that such statistics were cerns the trip planner feature. Plans to implement a telephone available from the 511 system operator in their region), a few version were never realized (not all of the transit agencies agencies indicated that they intended to follow up with their wanted it) and, to varying degrees, the transit agencies feel the 511 system sponsor. Also, several transit agencies we inter- web version has fallen short of their expectations. This is viewed were unaware of 511 and/or of the existence of 511 in closely related to the cost sharing arrangement because much their area and indicated that they would look into 511. of the complexity and associated cost of the transit portion of the 511 system is directly related to the trip planner function. 4.1.2 Perspectives of 511 System This complex function is not included in any other 511 sys- Administrators on Transit tems, although some transit agencies do provide this feature Participation on their own phone systems. The third issue is one that also was cited by a few other Conclusions related to 511 system administration are agencies and pertains to the challenges experienced in con- based on interviews with 12 system administrators represent- verting transit agencies' schedule and route database into a ing 511 systems throughout the United States. Three main format that can be accommodated in the 511 system. As re- conclusions are presented. ported by other agencies, the effort to work out the initial conversion protocol can be substantial, and subsequent Buy-In on 511 as a Multimodal Resource periodic data transfers can still require a fair amount of man- ual validation. The results of the 12 interviews indicate that some 511 system administrators were aware of the 511 Deployment Coalition's recommendations for minimum transit content Transit Agencies' 511 Plans and features and faced no significant barriers to including Most transit agencies are passively involved in 511 and at least some transit, but decided to not include any transit they experience no significant impacts, issues, or complica- content. This suggests that despite multimodal being a defin- tions associated with 511. Therefore, they perceive 511 in a ing attribute of the U.S. DOT 511 concept, some agencies vaguely positive way, or are, at worst, ambivalent about it. may have never truly embraced 511 as a multimodal traveler Either way, their 511 situation is stable; they neither plan to information resource. Perspectives contributing to these enhance or decrease their 511 involvement. There are only decisions seem to include the opinion that the vast major- two notable exceptions. The first is, again, the Bay Area, ity of 511 callers will be looking for highway information where a number of agencies are considering adding their anyway (sometimes cited as a consequence of the fact that real-time vehicle arrival/departure time information to 511 511 is just a new name for a highway information-only tele- and where the 511 system sponsor is implementing a type phone traveler information system in operation for many of "my 511" that personalizes features for transit on the 511 years), and that transit information is available directly phone system. Also, the sponsor is considering to what extent from transit agencies. they may continue to update some of the transit agencies' The extent to which some 511 administrators have not information on their 511 system. The second exception is bought in to the concept of 511 as a multimodal resource South Florida, where, because of the high cost of transit 511 suggests that they have either not considered, or do not agree operations and maintenance, as well as concerns about 511 with, the basic rationale underlying the inclusion of multi- trip planner performance, the transit agencies are not sure modal information. They may not understand or agree that that they will continue to participate in 511. Also, an over- in their region consolidating traffic and transit information arching statewide 511 system has emerged in Florida (part of can help facilitate mode choice decisions, that consolidating the statewide SunGuide family of ITS services). Associated information on multiple transit agencies will eliminate the with that, the South Florida 511 system sponsor, FDOT need to make multiple calls, or that 511 will be an easier District VI, is changing their approach to the regional 511 number to find and remember than transit agency customer system in ways that would require transit agencies to admin- service numbers. Of course, they may be correct that the ister their own 511 vendor support contract if they want to be transit-511 rationale is not valid in their area. This possibil- included in the 511 system. ity is supported by the fact that many of the 511 systems The only other outlook-related findings pertain to various lacking any transit information serve states that have few, types of interest on the part of transit agencies that seem to if any, very large urban areas served by multiple transit have been spurred by our contact with them for this study. providers, and where variable and severe traffic congestion For example, after we asked agencies about transit-related 511 results in a large number of daily mode choice decisions.