511: Case Study Overview – Minnesota
This overview report is also available as an Adobe PDF file at www.its.dot.gov/511/PDF/MN-Overview.pdf, requiring Adobe Acrobat Reader
Of the many transportation and tourism related phone information systems currently operating in Minnesota, two have been identified as most relevant in terms of near-term plans for 511 conversion:
- Winter and Summer Road and Weather Conditions: The Minnesota Department of Transportation (Mn/DOT) through the Office of Maintenance has implemented a statewide toll-free and a local Twin Cities number to access road conditions. These numbers are 1-800-542-0220 and 651-284-0511. The telephony equipment was recently upgraded from 19 incoming lines to 47 to reduce the number of missed calls. In March 2001 the system was upgraded from human operator voice-recorded information to a system that coverts text to speech through concatenation of prerecorded words and phrases.
- Minnesota Condition Acquisition and Reporting System (Mn/CARS): Through a pooled-fund project with Iowa, Washington and Missouri, Minnesota has developed and implemented Mn/CARS. Mn/CARS is an Internet-based application used by Mn/DOT Districts and the Minnesota State Patrol to enter data about road conditions, restrictions and incidents. Mn/CARS data is integrated into a database that is then accessible to travelers though the Winter and Summer Road and Weather Conditions numbers.
- Road and Weather Information System (R/WIS): Mn/DOT has implemented a statewide system of R/WIS sensors to collect real-time road surface and weather conditions. This system is then used to provide real-time road-related weather reports and forecasts. The current weather reports and near-term forecasts are then integrated into a database that is accessible to travelers through the Winter and Summer Road and Weather Conditions numbers.
The short-term vision for 511 in Minnesota is to provide statewide cellular access to the Winter and Summer Road and Weather Conditions information system. The long-term vision is still being developed. The final long-term vision will include input from tourism, transit, freight, parking and other transportation information stakeholders. The long-term vision will also explore the appropriate public and private roles to assure long-term sustainability and quality of service.
- Mn/DOT has created executive and technical groups to manage 511 implementation.
- Mn/DOT is informally contacting cellular providers for purposes of enabling 511.
- Mn/DOT is coordinating with other N11 stakeholders (211, 711 and 911).
- A workshop is planned for mid-2001 to get stakeholder input to an overall Minnesota vision and deployment plan for 511.
- An evaluation of the Winter and Summer Road and Weather Condition system from a traveler perspective is planned for the spring of 2001. The evaluation will look at both information content and menus used to access the information.
For Further Information
For the full case study report, go to: http://www.its.dot.gov/511/Minn_cs.htm
Return to 511 Overview