compass card
Compass Card
511 Alert

Phone Overview

511 Phone Content and Features

Call 511 from any phone* then, from the main menu, you can connect to public transportation, traffic conditions, iCommute, FasTrak®, Compass Card, and a Spanish menu. The main menu also provides shortcuts to roadside assistance, border crossings, taxis, and driving times.

Public Transportation

511 connects callers to toll-free transportation information in the San Diego region. Through our partnership with the area transit agencies, 511 can provide information for buses, Trolleys, commuter trains, the COASTER, the SPRINTER, and paratransit. When you call 511, say “public transportation,” then ask for your requested service or listen to a menu of available choices. Once you’ve made your selection, 511 will either play a recorded message for select options (e.g., fares, passes, etc.) or transfer your call to a transit operator.

The Metropolitan Transit System (MTS) provides services in the central, south, and east San Diego County regions. MTS operates three Trolley lines and an extensive local, Express, and Premium Express bus system. (Operator hours are Monday - Friday, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.)

The North County Transit District service area provides services in northern San Diego County. NCTD runs two rail lines and one bus system: the COASTER, SPRINTER, and BREEZE. (NCTD operator hours are Monday - Friday, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.)

Compass Card transfers to the customer service center for assistance with the smart card for transit in the San Diego region. The Compass Card can be loaded with your transit pass for Bus, Trolley, COASTER, and SPRINTER. (Compass Card operator hours are Monday - Friday, 7 a.m. - 7 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m. - 2 p.m.)

Bus information transfers to bus related operator, lost and found operator, the automated trip planner, and to the transit departure menu. MTS and NCTD bus routes currently available for departure times are:

1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 13, 14, 15, 20, 25, 27, 30, 31, 41, 44, 50, 101, 105, 115, 120, 150, 210, 302, 303, 304, 305, 306, 308, 309, 311, 313, 315, 316, 318, 323, 325, 332, 334, 335, 347, 350, 351, 352, 353, 354, 355, 356, 357, 358, 359, 388, 389, 395, 444, 445, 446, 701, 703, 704, 705, 707, 709, 712, 810, 815, 816, 820, 832, 833, 834, 844, 845, 848, 850, 851, 854, 855, 856, 860, 864, 870, 871, 872, 874, 875, 901, 904, 905, 906, 907, 916, 917, 921, 923, 928, 929, 932, 933, 934, 936, 955, 960, 961, 962, 963, 964, 965, 967, 968, and 992.

NCTD has four (4) “FLEX” (zone based demand response services): 371, 372, 373, and 374. FLEX 371 mostly operates as a fixed route, but offers some route deviations if requested. Information for FLEX is not provided in the 511 prompts.

Trolley information transfers to Trolley operators, and the lost and found operator.

COASTER information transfers to the COASTER operators, special events hotline, and the lost and found operator.

SPRINTER information transfers to departure times and the SPRINTER operators.

Commuter trains information transfers to Amtrak, Metrolink, SPRINTER, and COASTER operators. (Metrolink operator hours are Monday - Friday from 6 a.m. - 10 p.m. and Saturday - Sunday from 6:30 a.m. - 8 p.m.)

Paratransit agency information transfers to the local paratransit agencies serving persons with disabilities or the elderly, including shuttle services, public transportation, and customer service. If you don’t know which agency you need, state the city you are interested in and you will be transferred to the correct agency.


Enhanced software supports an array of features on the 511 phone system that enable SANDAG to provide traffic information

Traffic conditions provides current incidents and average speeds when slower than 40 miles per hour. It also provides road closure information from CHP, Caltrans, and other transportation agencies. To select a route, you can simply say, “8” instead of “Interstate 8,” or to be more specific, say “8 East.” As with the rest of the 511 system, you can interrupt the operator at any time by saying “next” to skip to the next incident or “go back” to return to the previous menu.

Driving times provides actual driving times for specific routes based on real-time traffic information. When you call 511, say “driving times” and be prepared for the system prompt for your starting point. This can be a city, such as “Carlsbad,” or a point of interest, like “SeaWorld.” 511 will then ask for your ending point. There are multiple starting/ending points to enable 511 to provide you with more accurate driving times.

Roadside Assistance transfers you to call center staff who can help if you are having trouble on select local highways.

Airport provides information about airport traffic conditions, or transfers to the San Diego County Regional Airport Authority operator, or 24-hour automated menu, for information about parking, flight arrivals, lost and found, and other information. (Airport operator hours are Monday - Friday, 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.)

FasTrak® transfers callers to the Customer Service Center for the South Bay Expressway or I-15 Express Lanes to receive information about the FasTrak electronic toll collection program. FasTrak users can drive non-stop through toll plazas on designated FasTrak facilities. The correct toll is automatically deducted from a prepaid FasTrak account associated with that vehicle.


iCommute is your gateway to commute choices in the San Diego region.The program is managed by SANDAG as part of the regional 511 transportation information program. The goal of the iCommute program is to reduce traffic congestion in order to decrease greenhouse gas emissions and other environmental pollutants that result from driving alone.

At the main menu, ask for any of the following: “iCommute,” “bicycling,” “vanpool,” or” carpool” and 511 will connect you with an iCommute operator who will explain how to join a carpool or vanpool, provide transportation incentives to employees, and information about iCommute programs and incentives. (iCommute operator hours are Monday - Friday, 7 a.m. – 4 p.m.)


511 provides Spanish services for iCommute, transit, and roadside assistance.

At the main menu say “Español” or press 1 to go to the Spanish menu. Under the Spanish menu, 511 provides some options to transfer Spanish-speaking callers to either roadside assistance or transit.

Four Spanish prompts are available:

  • Para asistencia en carretera, pulse número uno
  • Para información de viajes comparaditos, pulse numero dos
  • Para información de tránsito, pulse número tres
  • Para FasTrak, pulse cuatro.

Border Crossing

At the main menu, say “border crossing” and select from recorded messages for border crossing stations at Otay Mesa, San Ysidro, or Tecate.

*511 calls made from your cell phone will only cost you the minutes used during your calls.

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©2013 SANDAG