T3 Webinar Overview

Implementing Your 511 System: California, Kansas, and Montana Share Experiences

View Webinar: link to this webinar's archive materials

Originally presented under the title: Approaches to Deploying 511 Systems: Implementers in California, Kansas, and Montana Describe their 511 Systems

Date:   January 9, 2008
Time:  1:00 PM – 2:30 PM ET
Cost:  All T3 webinars are free of charge
PDH:  1.5   View PDH Policy

T3 Webinars are brought to you by the ITS Professional Capacity Building Program (ITS PCB) at the U.S. Department of Transportation's (USDOT) ITS Joint Program Office, Research and Innovative Technology Administration (RITA). Reference in this webinar to any specific commercial products, processes, or services, or the use of any trade, firm or corporation name is for the information and convenience of the public, and does not constitute endorsement, recommendation, or favoring by U.S. Department of Transportation.


Telephone services that provide real–time information about work zones, traffic incidents, and other causes of congestion allow travelers to make informed decisions about their travel routes or modes, and increase safety by helping motorists avoid areas with congestion or incidents. In 2000, in response to a petition from the U.S. Department of Transportation (US DOT), the Federal Communications Commission assigned 511 to transportation agencies as the easy–to–remember 3–digit telephone number for multi-modal travel information. Since that time more than 35 implementations have been installed throughout the US, giving over 100 millions people access to real-time information through 511. This webinar will give the audience a brief update on the status of the US DOT 511 Program and then describe three different 511 implementations in California, Kansas and Montana.

Target Audience

Target audience is anyone interested in learning about 511 systems.

Learning Objectives

This webinarís primary learning objective is to increase the audienceís knowledge of various approaches to implementing 511 systems and to illuminate issues faced by implementers of these systems. Feedback from the audience in terms of both questions and also sharing of other experiences across the country will be encouraged.

Participants will learn:

  • The current status of the US DOT 511 Program and implementations across the country.
  • A description of the approach to 511 systems in three States.
  • Exposure to the issues faced by 511 implementers.

511 Resources


Mac Lister, ITS Specialist, FHWA Resource Center
Mac has over 35 years of experience in the field of information systems. Before joining FHWA ten years ago, he had worked as an IT manager for 25 years, the last 12 of which were for a public transit agency. His ITS areas of expertise are 511 technology/overall operations, the National ITS Architecture, ITS professional capacity building, and systems engineering.

Mac provides training, outreach and technical support for the National ITS Architecture and Systems Engineering programs. He is also the team leader for the FHWA's National Field Support team; the field co-chair for the FHWA Operations Council's architecture and systems engineering working groups; and a member of the 511 Deployment Coalition Working Group.

Mac is a certified instructor and a master trainer for NHI. He teaches courses in ITS Software Acquisition, Systems Engineering and National ITS Architecture. He has also been an independent consultant to ITS America. Mac is a member of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM).


Barbara J. Blue, Kansas Department of Transportation
Barbara (she prefers Barb) Blue joined the Kansas Department of Transportation (KDOT) in 2001 as the Advanced Traveler Information System (ATIS) Coordinator. Her responsibility includes 511 Project Management and overall coordination of ATIS initiatives for Kansas. She is a member of the Kansas ITS Steering Committee and actively coordinates ATIS with ITS. She also serves on the AMBER Alert Task Force, and participates on the Technology Committee.

In addition to her work in Kansas, Barb is a member of the National 511 Coalition Working Group, where she serves as the Chairperson for the National Usage and Performance Measures Task Force and as a member of three additional task forces. She is also a 511 peer consultant for the National ITS Peer–to–Peer Program sponsored by the US DOT, FHWA, FTA and the FMCSA. Barb is also a member of ITS America and serves as the Kansas Director for the ITS Heartland Board.

She is a native of Nebraska and a graduate of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. She enjoys many friends and hobbies when not working.

Brandi Hamilton, Montana Department of Transportation
Brandi is the Traveler Information Coordinator and 511 Project Manager for the Montana Department of Transportation (MDT). She has been involved in the National 511 effort since Montana deployed their system in January 2003 and has worked with the 511 Coalition on the task force for Marketing and Style Guides, as well as the Evaluation and Performance Measures Committee.

She is responsible for the project oversight of several ITS projects statewide and is the MDT AMBER Alert liaison, responsible for coordinating alerts with the Department of Justice. She also serves as the Treasurer for the Rocky Mountain ITS Chapter.

Brandi attended Montana State University and is currently working to complete her undergraduate degree.

David Lively, Caltrans
David Lively oversees the development and operation of Caltransí travel information systems. This includes highway and inter–city rail information reaching travelers via the Departmentís telephone and internet, and through data feeds to commercial/media information service providers. David is the statewide coordinator for advanced traveler information systems, where the sustainability of public sector "511" systems is a current issue.

Nationally David has served on ITS America and AASHTO standards committees for Advanced Traveler Information Systemsí (ATIS) message sets, location referencing, Dedicated Short Range Communications (DSRC) message content; and on TRB panels addressing quality in traveler information systems and to develop TransXML schema. Other topical interests include consumer privacy issues, public sector services marketing strategies, automotive/human factors engineering, and the implications of transportation on land use and economy.

Past experiences include systems operations analysis, planning, and organizational development consulting. David is a graduate of California State University, Sacramento, with Masters and teaching credential from the same institution.