Wednesday, June 13, 2001

511 doesn't work for all


Some phone providers outside I-275 don't offer traffic line

By Rebecca Billman
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        Although Greater Cincinnati is the first area in the country to implement the new 511 traffic hot line number, not everyone can use it.

        The three-digit service — which features traffic information that is updated about 1,150 times a day — is available free to all Cincinnati Bell customers. That includes most people inside the Interstate 275 loop.

        But not all wireless and local-access providers outside the loop — most notably Sprint, the provider for Lawrenceburg — offer the service.

        Cincinnati Bell customers can use 511 from any land line or cellular phone.

        Some businesses currently can't access the service because of switching problems, but that usually is a simple fix, said Katie Taft, who represents ARTIMIS. In those cases the company's systems administrator should be alerted.

        GTE and Cingular wireless customers can use the 511 now, and Verizon customers will be able to so in the future. Most other wireless providers are negotiating with ARTIMIS to offer 511 service; some are not.

        “If people are having a problem accessing 511, they need to call their provider and ask them,” said Ms. Taft. “They need to put pressure on their own providers.”

        At present, residents of Dearborn County and some residents of Warren and Butler counties can't use 511 from their home phones, although Southeast Indiana Rural Telephone Co-op, which serves some areas in southern Dearborn County, is checking into it, said Cris Hofstetter, administrative assistant. Sprint is also looking into providing the service.

        Motorists can still use the old 211 number through July. If you don't have access to 211 or 511, you can still reach the hot line by dialing (513) 333-3333 or visiting the ARTIMIS Web site at www.artimis.org.

       

       



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