ST. PAUL (AP) -- The state of Minnesota has broadened a program that makes highway travel information more accessible.
Commuters and travelers can get information on weather-related road conditions, construction and traffic by calling 511 on land or cell phones or by logging on to http://www.511mn.org.
The number was previously available only by cell phone. The state Department of Transportation announced a broadening of the service Monday.
Minnesota is one of eight states where the service is being refined for ultimate use across the country. The number was designated as a nationwide number for travel information by the Federal Communications Commission.
Once the number is put in service nationwide, travelers will be able to get similar information near all major cities.
The 511 service will replace the department's old 1-800-424-0220 number, which offers statewide travel information. That number will patch callers through to the new 511 system.
The service is voice activated, but it is still making mistakes with route numbers. So it also offers a menu that can be activated by pushing a button if the system does not understand your voice request.
The 511 service does not estimate delays or travel times.
The service is supposed to be accessible from all land and cell phones except those with Verizon Wireless service. MnDOT continues to negotiate with the company on a price.
On the Net:
Mn/DOT Traveler Information Service: http://www.511mn.org
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