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WSDOT ends 511 traffic info service

Staff Report | May 18, 2023 5:41 PM

OLYMPIA — The Washington State Department of Transportation announced on Thursday that it is shutting the statewide automated 511 traffic information phone number, citing declining call volumes, the cost of maintaining the system and new technologies which give drivers other choices, according to a WSDOT press release.

WSDOT said while the 511 system received as many as 2.2 million calls every year at its height, since 2009 call volumes have fallen by 89%, the press release said. The program also costs around $150,000 per year to maintain, including staff time needed to update travel information.

Motorists looking for travel information should consult WSDOT’s app, available at both Google Play and Apple’s App Store, as well as the department’s real-time travel maps online wsdot.com/Travel/Real-time/Map/ and its Facebook and Twitter feeds, the press release said.