511 DFW System Information
What is the extent of information in the 511 DFW system?
511 DFW covers the transportation system and services throughout the Dallas – Fort
Worth metropolitan area. Major state highways are covered and major county and local
highways are included in the area. Public transportation services throughout the
metro area are also featured. Major events occurring on local roads will be described
in the 511 system if they have been reported to us.
Where does the information originate?
The information in the 511 DFW system comes from many transportation and police
agencies in the Dallas – Fort Worth region. Traffic management centers monitor and
provide traffic condition information to the 511 DFW system. Staffs at these centers
receive highway condition information from police and transportation officials,
motorist assistance patrol drivers, 911 calls, construction crews, traffic cameras
and roadway sensors. Transit information comes from public transportation agencies.
Weather conditions, forecast information and alerts are provided by a 3rd Party
weather information provider.
How current is the information?
Information on traffic or transit conditions, changes all the time. Speed data and
camera images are updated continuously. Camera images are updated as quickly as
the camera system allows - every 30 seconds in some cases and every 60 seconds or
more in other cases. Information on incidents is updated by agency staff as conditions
are reported from the scene. Information on road construction and maintenance is
updated as new work is started or completed, or as travel conditions change. Other
information, such as construction projects or transit schedule changes, are updated
as soon as this information becomes available. Agency contact information changes
How does 511 DFW differ from the travel information on the radio and television?
511 DFW is another information source for travelers that complements radio and TV
broadcasts. With 511 DFW you can expect to receive more detailed, current and route-specific
traffic information than is provided in a short, general traffic news slot, and
you can get the information whenever you need it. Beyond this, the 511 DFW system
offers a broad range of information on transit service, transit trip planning, carpooling
and many other services not covered by the media.
How will 511 differ from 911 and 311 phone services?
Here are the three-digit service numbers adopted by the telephone industry and the
Federal Communications Commission:
- Health & Human Services
- Community information and referral services
- Local Government Services
- Directory Assistance
- Fee-based telephone number inquiries
- Travel and Transportation
- Free. Available in many states
- Allows people with hearing or speech impairments to communicate via a communications assistant
- Telecom Relay Services
- Know whats below. Call before you dig
- Emergency Services
- Report police, fire or medical emergencies
What are incidents?
Incidents disrupt the normal flow of traffic or transit services, including accidents,
vehicle breakdowns and road debris. In extreme cases, incidents may require a roadway
to be closed.
Can there be delays without an incident?
Delays also can occur because of special events, construction advisories, bad weather
conditions or high traffic volume.
What if I want to know about an alternate route to avoid an incident reported on
511 DFW? How can I get this information from 511 DFW?
Ask the 511 DFW phone system about conditions on the alternate route you are considering,
or view the roadways for closures, incidents, construction and current traffic speeds.
Why aren’t there cameras, message signs and speed information available on all roadways?
Cameras, signs and sensors are installed along roads with the most traffic; primarily
on major routes like interstates and state-maintained highways. Traffic patterns
are reviewed periodically to determine where additional equipment should be installed.
Why are electronic message signs blank most of the time?
These signs are blank when conditions are normal and are used only when there is
a problem, such as an accident, disabled vehicle, construction, road closure or
Alerts and Electronic Notifications
What are the scrolling alerts on the 511 DFW Web site?
The alerts are warnings or information about major incidents affecting the transportation
system in the region. To get alerts for a specific region, click on My Customized
Alerts to the right of the scrolling banner and choose a region from the drop-down
What is Amber Alert?
This is an early-warning system to help find abducted children. AMBER stands for
America's Missing: Broadcast Emergency Response. This is a cooperative program among
law enforcement, broadcasters, transportation agencies and others to immediately
involve the public, especially motorists, in the search for an abducted child.
If you witness a child abduction, contact your local law enforcement agency or 911
to report it quickly. Note important information, such as the physical characteristics
of the child and suspect; the make and model of any vehicles involved (including
license plate numbers if possible); and the precise location of the abduction.
What is My511DFW?
My511DFW is a free, personalized service on the phone, mobile apps, and web that
allows you to customize 511DFW, your way. With MY511DFW, you build your own 511DFW.org
home page or bypass phone menu options to go directly to your information. During
registration, you define and save up to six traffic trips, with names like "Home
to Work" or "Work to Gym", six transit trips, and identify up to six CCTV traffic
cameras you check most often. Then you can access incident information for those
trips on the 511DFW phone service 511DFW.org.
When can I call the 511 DFW system?
The 511 phone service is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
How much does it cost to make a 511 DFW call?
511 DFW does not charge for the call. Calling 511 DFW from a landline phone will
cost the same as making a local call. If you use a cell phone, airtime and roaming
charges may apply.
Will I be able to call 511 DFW anywhere in the state?
No, this service is only available in the Dallas – Fort Worth region and the surrounding
How does the phone system know the location from which I am calling?
The 511 phone system will either identify your telephone prefix when you use a landline
phone or the communications tower that your wireless phone is connected to when
you call. Knowing your calling location allows the 511 DFW system to provide information
specific to that area of the region.
What languages does the 511 DFW system use?
Information in the 511 DFW phone system and Web site is presented in English, there
are future plans to include Spanish.
Will my call be dropped if it can not be transferred to another system?
No, the 511 service will keep you on the line until your call is successfully transferred
to a partner agency when you select this option.
Can I use my Internet phone (Voice Over IP/VoIP) to call 511 DFW?
This depends on whether your provider offers an address translation service (primarily
used to identify your location for 911 or E911). If so, when you call 511 DFW your
call will be routed to the 511 DFW system if your registered address is in the region.
The following VoIP carriers provide this address translation service: AT&T Wireless,
AT&T Wireline, Frontier Communications, OneCommunications, Sprint (Including
Nextel), T-Mobile, Verizon Wireless, Verizon Wireline.
Does 511DFW have an 800 number option?
Yes. Call 877-511DALL (877-511-3255).
What if the system is busy when I call?
With 511 DFW, your call will always be answered. If there is an unusually high volume
of calls when you called, your call will be put in a queue to interact with the
system. We are monitoring call volumes and will add capacity if needed.
Why can’t I reach 511 DFW?
There are several reasons why you might not be able to access the 511 DFW system:
Your telephone company doesn’t provide access to 511 DFW. Most landline and cellular
service carriers in the Dallas – Fort Worth region allow access to the 511 system.
If your carrier is not listed, ask it to support 511 DFW.
If your carrier does not support 511 DFW, you can reach 511 DFW via our toll-free
number: 877-511DALL (877-511-3255). Cell phone reception is poor. Try calling back
from another location. Your phone system at work does not support dialing 511 DFW.
Many businesses have their own telephone systems that may need to be reprogrammed
to allow direct access to the 511 DFW system. Contact your office manager or telephone
system administrator to have them enable access to 511 DFW. Your cell phone is using
a cell tower in a neighboring region.When you call from an area near a bordering
county or state, your cell phone may use a cell tower in that county, not in the
Dallas – Fort Worth region, preventing you from accessing 511 DFW. If this happens,
dial our toll-free number, 877-511DALL (877-511-3255).
You are calling from another state. Dialing 511 will connect you with the 511 system
in the state from which you are calling, if available. Call the 511DFW toll-free
number 877-511DALL (877-511-3255).
You are calling from a pay phone that has not been programmed for 511. Call the
511DFW toll-free number 877-511DALL (877-511-3255).
How can I reach 511 DFW service from outside the region?
The 511 DFW service can be reached through these toll-free numbers: 877-511DALL
What do I do when the system does not understand what I am saying?
511 DFW uses a state-of-the-art voice-recognition system to guide you through the
menu options. The system might have a difficulty responding to your request if:
you said something it is not programmed to recognize at that particular menu; it
cannot understand your voice; or there is background noise, such as a radio or people
talking near you, that prevents the system from understanding you.
Reduce background noise and speak as clearly as possible in a normal tone of voice.
If you are using a cell phone and you have a low signal, try calling back when you
get a better one. If you still have problems, use numeric touch-tone commands.
How do I use the phone system if I am hearing-impaired?
Hearing-impaired callers can dial 711 to access 511DFW information.
711 is the national three-digit number for access to Telecommunication Relay Services
(TRS). Callers dial 711 and ask the operator to connect them to the 511 service.
Once connected, the 711 operator acts as a go-between, relaying callers' request
for travel information to the 511 system and then providing system responses back
to the callers.
How do I use the phone system if I am speech-impaired?
Speech-impaired callers can use the touch-tone system to access information from
the 511 system. Press "0" at each new menu to hear the touch-tone options, then
press the number that matches your choice. Once you learn the touch-tones, there
is no need to press zero to hear the list of choices; just enter your selection.
How accessible is the 511 DFW Web site if I am vision-impaired?
The 511 DFW Web site has been designed to meet the accessibility policies of the
Dallas Area Rapid Transit. Most of the material on the Web site will be in HTML
or ASCII (plain text) formats. However, some of the files may require users to have
installed the following specific software or plug-ins to interpret the page content:
Adobe Acrobat Portable Document Format (PDF), Adobe Flash and Microsoft Office.
Can I speak to an operator to get information?
The 511 DFW phone service is an automated, interactive voice system driven by the
user's voice or phone keys. Voice recordings will give the latest computerized information.
There are options to transfer to a specific transportation agency for additional
information not offered directly through the 511 DFW phone system.
How do I get help?
Say, "Help" or "What are my choices?" at any time to hear your options for the current
menu. To return to a previous menu, say, "Go back." To start over, say "Main Menu."
How can I navigate through the system to get the information I need more quickly?
Interrupt the System (barge-in). Once you know what questions will be asked, you
can answer them as soon as the system starts asking them. You do not need to wait
until the end of a question before answering.
Use Voice Command Shortcuts or Touch Tone Keys Shortcuts are voice commands that
bypass a menu and take you directly to your choice.
Help,What are my choices?
Lists of all choices for the current menu.
States Main Menu options.
Repeats the last question or list of choices.
StopCancel Go Back
Halts the system from listing menu options and goes back to the previous menu.
Ends the call.
Main Menu Choices
Just press "0" at each menu to hear menu choices and touch tone codes.
What it Does
Get information about closures and major incidents on the facilities you select.
Link to a public transportation service or learn about current transit incidents.
Connect to a service provider.
Connect to a ride-sharing service.
Connect to an airport or airport access service.
Other 511 Systems
Give us your feedback.
How can I stop receiving calls from 511?
If you receive a call that seems to be from DFW’s travel information service because
the telephone number begins with "511" on your caller ID, be assured that it is
not from 511DFW. 511 is not a valid area code in the US or Canada, and 511DFW does
not make out-going calls to the public. If you are receiving calls like this, you
should contact your telephone service provider and request they block "calls from
511" to you. Be prepared to give your provider the complete telephone number you
want blocked. If you have tried to work through your telephone service provider
to eliminate such calls and were unsuccessful, please call 511 and use the touchtone
keys to press 77 to leave a comment (and remember to hit # when you are finished),
or visit the 511DFW.org website, click "contact us" to reach us. Please provide
your contact information and a message about the problem you are having, and a staff
member will reach out to you to help resolve the problem. DART staff members will
return calls only in response to comments left via the 511DFW telephone or web service,
and a ten digit phone number beginning with a valid area code will appear on your
Public Transportation Information
What kinds of information can I get about public transportation in the Dallas –
Fort Worth region from the 511 DFW phone system and Web site?
Type of Information
Transit trip planner
Public transportation providers
Riding a bus or train with your bike
Here are the public transportation services covered by 511DFW:
Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART)
Denton County Transportation Authority (DCTA)
With 511 DFW you can find out about services within your area of interest. The phone
system will transfer your call to an operator if you would like.
I’m not sure of exact street addresses. Can I still use the Transit Trip Planner?
Absolutely. The Transit Trip Planner uses Google Auto-Complete to help you identify
the correct address. You can also click on the map to indicate the approximate origin
and destination of your trip. Zoom in, as needed, to see more street detail.
What information will the Trip Planner give me?
After you have specified where your trip is starting and ending, click on Plan Your
Trip. The results will pop up in a new window, showing
Details on where to board the service
Date and start time and trip duration
Detailed instructions and duration of each leg of your trip (if applicable)
Information on any current incidents affecting service
Click on Print Itinerary at the bottom to get a printer-friendly version of the
I’m unfamiliar with the area. Will the Transit Trip Planner show me where the closest
stop is and tell me how to get there?
Yes. When viewing your itinerary click on the walking map icon on the right side
of the screen. Another window will open a map window showing the starting point
of your trip and where you will pick up the service as well as proving you with
detailed directions. Print the map and directions to carry with you.
How do I prevent being transferred to an agency that I don’t want?
After you tell the 511 DFW phone system which agency you want, it will confirm your
request by repeating the agency's name. If you select an agency and the system reads
back a different name, right away say "Stop," "Go Back" or Press 1 to stop the transfer
and choose again. If you did not catch this in time, call back and try again.
What do I do when I need public transportation information after hours?
If you need information to plan a trip, then visit our groundbreaking, multiagency
transit Trip Planner Web site. The trip planner will help you map out your itinerary,
door to door. Otherwise, call back during normal workday hours.
Who do I call to report an incident on a highway?
As with all emergencies, if you see an accident or a road hazard, such as a downed
tree, flooding or debris in the road, dial 911. Report the location and direction
(note the nearest highway mile marker, if you can).
How can you make the 511 DFW system better?
The easiest way is to simply use it. The more you use the system, the more we learn
about what is important to you. If you have a specific suggestion about how we can
improve, tell us using our feedback form or leave a message using the 511 DFW phone
system. Press "77" at any time and you will be prompted to leave a recorded message.
We also will conduct periodic phone and Web surveys to get feedback.
Can I use 511 DFW from any computer?
Yes. Any computer that has access to the Internet, a compatible browser and security
settings to allow cookies will be able to use the 511 DFW Web site.
What Web browsers work with 511 DFW?
511 DFW has been tested with Internet Explorer 6.0 and above, and Firefox 2.0 and
above. Other browsers also may work.
What are cookies and why are they used by 511 DFW?
Cookies are a small amount of data sent to your Web browser from a web server and
stored on your computer. They are only used to save your latest map view which can
save you navigation time when you visit 511DFW.org the next time. The cookies used
by our 511 DFW system do not contain any personal information about you and the
information in them cannot be accessed by other Web sites.
I'm a dial-up user. Can I still use the 511 DFW traffic and transit condition maps?
Yes. The first time you visit, these pages will load slowly, so be patient. Once
the maps have loaded on your computer, your next visit should be quicker. Other
things you can do to improve performance are:
Select only one or a limited number of information categories. The more you pick,
the longer it will take to display all icons on the map.
Stick with the Google Map view (instead of Satellite or Hybrid).
Do not view camera images (these take the longest time to load).
What information is shown on the Traffic and Transit Conditions Map?
Click on the weather icon to get the weather forecast for the next seven days.
Click on the alert icon to see the latest weather alert issued by the NWS (if an
alert is in effect) and time the alert was issued or updated.
An incident describes something that disrupts traffic or transit flow, traffic,
such as an accident, vehicle breakdown or road debris. Move your mouse over the
icon to display the location of an incident. Click on the icon for detailed information
including the time of the last update.
Special Events are planned activities such as concerts, bicycle races, festivals,
fairs, etc. that impact traffic. Advisory messages present the name of the event,
date, time, location and traffic impacts.
Icons show active traffic and transit construction projects. Mouse-over an icon
for information on project location. Click on it to learn more about traffic impacts,
timing and duration.
View pictures of current traffic conditions from the location chosen.Mouse-over
a camera icon for a description of the camera’s location.Click on it to display
the camera image, location, operating agency logo and camera direction.
Select Speeds to see the average speed of traffic at roadside traffic detectors
locations.Colored dots show detector locations and speed range of traffic. Mouse-over
a dot to get information on location, traffic level, average traffic speed and time
of the last update.
View text from Message Signs
Mouse-over a message sign to get its location, message content, and time of the
View general information that may impact traffic (i.e. a political demonstration).
How do I change the area shown on the Traffic Conditions map?
The map starts out with a view of the whole state. Use the Zoom To feature to jump
to a metro area chosen from the drop down list (Zoom To is located immediately above
the map). Otherwise, use Google's map navigation buttons: To Change Location: Arrows
- Click the appropriate arrow buttons to move the view north, south, east or west.
Click to return to your original view. Mouse - Depress the left mouse button and
drag the map to pan to a new area. To Change Zoom Level: Zoom In - Click to zoom
in on the center of the map. Zoom Out - Click to zoom out. Zoom Slider - Drag the
zoom slider up or down to zoom in or out incrementally.
What does "Save My Map View" do?
Select this option to have 511 DFW remember your current; map view; (geographic
area and zoom level) for your next visit. This will save you map navigation time
if you typically look at the same area when you visit 511 DFW. 'Save My Map View'
remembers your map view by storing a 'cookie' on your computer for the 511 DFW Web
site -- a small amount of data retrieved by our Web server to show your personalized
How long does it take for an accident icon to appear on the map?
After an accident has been entered into the system, it is immediately available
to the public.
Why doesn’t an accident I saw appear on the map?
All major accidents and other events reported to us that occur on the state highway
system will be included in the 511 DFW system; however, there may be some delay
getting accurate information from transportation employees or other first responders
at the incident scene. Accidents that may not cause major disruption may not be
included, particularly if they occur on local roads.
How do I make icons display faster?
To improve performance, select only the information categories you really want.
The more legend items you select, the longer it will take to display icons on the
You also can speed up the rate of information delivery by sticking with the Google
Map view (instead of Satellite or Hybrid). This is particularly true if you are
going to pan the map (move location).