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Compass Card
511 Alert

511 Phone Help

Accessing 511:

511 information is accessible by calling 511 from landline and cellular phones in the coverage area, or by calling
1-855-GO-SD-511 (1-855-467-3511) from any phone.

Tips for navigating the system faster and more efficiently:

The fastest way to move through the prompts is to interrupt the system. 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 for the system to finish the question before answering. For example, you can say the name of your starting point once you are in the driving times function. You do not need to wait for the system to say, "First let’s get the starting point."

To more quickly and efficiently navigate the system, use the following commands:

"Main Menu": This command is recognized anywhere in the system and will take you directly back to the main menu.

"Repeat": If you need to hear the prompts again say, "repeat."

"Next Incident": In driving times and traffic conditions say "next incident" if you want to skip an incident during incident playback.

"Next Route": In driving times if multiple routes are played, you can skip to the next one by saying, "next route."

"Go Back": To return to a previous menu, say, "go back."

From the main menu you may interrupt the voice at any time with a command to go directly to that section.

Main Menu Shortcuts

You may interrupt the automated system at any time with a command to go directly to that section.

Español Press 1 for Spanish
Traffic Press 2 for Traffic
Public Transit or Public Transportation    Press 3 for Public Transportation
Roadside Assistance Press 4 for Roadside Assistance
Ridesharing (carpool/vanpool) or iCommute Press 5 for Ridesharing
Taxis and Shuttles Press 6 for Taxis and Shuttles
Airports Press 7 for Airports
FasTrak® Press 8 for FasTrak®
Bicycling or iCommute Press 9 for Bicycling
Guaranteed Ride Home Press 10 for Guaranteed Ride Home
Arrive Alive Press 11 for Arrive Alive
SchoolPool or iCommute Press 12 for SchoolPool
Traffic Conditions Press 13 for Traffic Conditions
Driving Times Press 14 for Driving Time
Border or Border Crossing Press 15 for Border Crossing
Compass Card (transit passes) Press 16 for Compass Card
Truck Menu Press 17 for Truck Menu

Traffic Conditions Menu Options

From the traffic conditions menu, say the name of a highway, city, or a point of interest, called “hot spots” for information about traffic conditions in that area. You also may say “help” or “what are my choices?” at any time to hear a complete list of options.

Highway choices include: Highway 6, Interstates 5, 8, 15, and 805, and State Routes 52, 54, 56, 67, 75, 76, 78, 79, 94, 115, 125, 163, 188, 282, and 905.

City choices include: Carlsbad, Chula Vista, Coronado, Del Mar, El Cajon, Encinitas, Escondido, Imperial Beach, La Mesa, Lemon Grove, National City, Oceanside, Poway, San Diego, San Marcos, Santee, Solana Beach, and Vista. Communities such as Alpine, Cardiff by the Sea, Fallbrook, Julian, Lakeside, Rancho Bernardo, Rancho Peñasquitos, San Ysidro, and many others are included.

There are many hot spots which include communities, attractions, select shopping centers, airports, major universities, and more throughout the region. Some examples include: Balboa Park, Del Mar Fairgrounds, Fashion Valley, Horton Plaza, Hotel Del Coronado, Mission Beach, Old Town, Olympic Training Center, Petco Park, Qualcomm Stadium, San Diego Zoo, SeaWorld, Downtown San Diego, and UC San Diego.

To recommend additional hot spots, please email

Driving Times Menu Options

From the driving times menu, state your starting point and ending point from a city, community, or point of interest, called “hot spots.” Driving times menu options are similar to the city and hot spot choices available in the traffic conditions menu. If you want to skip an incident during incident playback, say “next incident.” If multiple routes are played, you can skip to the next one by saying “next route”.

When the system cannot recognize what you are saying:

511 uses a state-of-the-art voice-recognition system to guide you through the menu options. Sometimes the system might have a difficult time recognizing your request due to one of the following reasons:

  1. You are saying something that the system is not programmed to recognize at that particular menu. For example, if you say, "traffic conditions" in the public transportation menu, the system will not recognize your request. You need to go back to the main menu and say, "traffic conditions."
  2. While we have made every attempt to ensure that 511 is usable by as many people as possible, the system might be having difficulty understanding your voice.
  3. There could be background noise that prevents the system from recognizing your request.

SOLUTIONS: Please speak as clearly as possible and try to minimize any background noise. If this is still unsuccessful, 511 also offers a touch-tone system. Just press "0" at each menu, and the system will list the options with a corresponding number to press. Remember, you need to press zero at every new menu to hear the touch-tone codes. Once you've learned the touch-tones, there is no need to press zero to hear the list of choices; just enter your selection. The number will correspond to the order that the menu options are presented. For example, if you are in the traffic menu and want to use driving times, you will hear it listed as the second item. By pressing "2" immediately you will gain access to driving times.

Driving Times FAQ

At the driving times prompt, what can I say as my origin or destination?

You can say a city, community, or hot spot. A hot spot is a location where there may be traffic congestion such as Qualcomm Stadium or the San Diego Airport.

Where are driving times available?

Currently, driving times are available for most of the regions freeways and can be accessed by stating your origin and destination. Although driving times are not yet available on all San Diego freeways, SANDAG, in a partnership with Caltrans, is working to expand the driving times coverage on all major highways throughout the region.

Traffic Conditions FAQ

What are the highways, cities, and points of interest that I can say to get traffic condition information?

Traffic conditions are available for most highways in the region as well as over 100 hotspots. You can say a highway, city, or hotspot when requesting traffic condition information. Below is a sample list of the many cities and communities. If you want to refine your search to one direction on a highway you can say, for example, "I-5 south."

Sample List of Cities and Communities
Alpine Blythe Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Camp Pendleton
Campo Cardiff by the Sea Carlsbad Chula Vista Coronado Del Mar
Descanso Dulzura El Cajon Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook
Imperial Beach Jacumba Jamul Julian La Mesa Lakeside
Lemon Grove National City Ocean Beach Oceanside Pala Pauma Valley
Pine Valley Potrero Poway Ramona Rancho Penasquitos Rancho Santa Fe
San Clemente San Diego San Marcos San Ysidro Santa Ysabel Santee
Solana Beach Spring Valley Tecate Temecula Vista Warner Springs

Is there a way to hear about traffic conditions for a specific area?

There are two ways to refine your requests for traffic condition information. First, add your travel direction to your request. For example, instead of saying "I-5,” say "I-5 south." You will hear only incidents that affect traffic heading south on Interstate 5. You can also request traffic condition information for a particular city.

The second way to get more information is to use the driving times prompt and state your starting and ending points.

Why didn't 511 tell me about the incident that slowed my trip?

511 can only provide driving times if speed information is available for all segments between the origin and destination. In areas with speed information, only incidents where the traffic is moving slower than 40 miles per hour is played. 511 receives the majority of its incident information from a joint effort of the California Highway Patrol (CHP) and the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans). This connected system means incidents are played almost as soon as they are reported. If an incident wasn't on 511, it may be that you called before it was reported, the incident was never reported, or traffic was not impacted/was not moving slower than 40 miles per hour. In addition, 511 only plays the top incidents in terms of severity and the impact on traffic. The incident that is affecting you may be less severe than those incidents that are playing.

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©2013 SANDAG