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Frequently Asked Questions

How do I get help using the touch-tone function?

If you need help, just say, "help" or press pound pound (# #) at any time. To return to a previous menu, press star star (* *) or say, "go back." To return to the main menu, press or say “zero” (0).

When are live operators available?

Visit the 511 by Phone webpage to find operator hours for public transportation and other services. If the operator system is experiencing an unusually high volume of calls, please call back later. The 511 touch-tone function is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

How do I use the system if I am hearing-impaired?

Hearing-impaired callers can call 711 and access all of the 511 transportation 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 relays callers’ requests for travel information to the 511 system and then provides system responses back to the callers.

How do I use the system if I am speech-impaired?

The 511 system features touch-tone options as well as voice commands. Each menu can be accessed using a phone keypad, and these options will be announced at each menu. To turn voice recognition off and only use your keypad, press zero zero (0 0) at any time.

How do I give my feedback on the 511 service?

The best way to give feedback when you are using the website is to use suggestion form. On the phone, you can give feedback by pressing "77" at any time during your call, and the 511 system will prompt you to leave a recorded message. Phone and web surveys are periodically offered through the system as a way to collect feedback.

What happened to the 511 mobile app?

Public Transportation on 511

What if I don't know which paratransit agency I need?

From the transit menu (accessed by pressing 3 or saying, "public transportation" or “transit” from the main menu) press or say eight (8). This will prompt a brief recording that will provide you with more information about each transit agency. After listening to this recording, you will be returned to the transit menu where you can select the agency you want to be transferred to.

I was transferred to the wrong public transportation agency, how do I prevent that?

It’s possible that the 511 system may have misunderstood your selection. The best solution is to call 511 again. If you are unsure which transit agency you need, you can listen to a short recording with more information before making your selection.

What do I do when I need public transportation information after hours?

To find the hours when you can reach a live operator at the various transit agencies, visit the 511 by Phone webpage. If you need transit information after hours, you can visit 511sd.com to find schedules, maps, and other information including a Transit Trip Planner , which allows you to plan your transit trip between two locations.

How do I speak with a live operator?

Just call 511, ask for "public transportation” or “transit” and select the appropriate agency or service during the posted hours. Once you select the agency you want, the system will offer to transfer you to that agency. Pressing "0" in the system will NOT connect you to an operator; it will instead return you to the main menu. The 511 service does not automatically transfer you to an operator.

511 Map Contents

What does the 511 Map have to offer?

The 511 Traffic page contains real-time traffic information and other tools to help you plan your trips in the San Diego region. Its main features are:

  • An interactive Traffic Map, which shows traffic speeds, incidents, construction, toll information, freeway cameras, and transit information.
  • A streamlined map is available for users with low bandwidth or a limited connection.

What browser versions does the 511 Traffic site support?

The 511 Traffic webpage is designed to work with Internet Explorer 6 and 7, Firefox 2.x and above, Chrome, and Safari. Many features of the website are accessible on older browser versions; to enjoy all of the traffic site's features, you may need to download the latest version of your favorite browser.

What are the different parts of the map and what do they do?

The map contains the following parts:

  • The actual map is located in the middle of the window. You can use the scroll bar on the left side of the map to zoom in or out, and the arrows in the upper left corner to move the viewing area. You can also click and drag the map to position it to get the view you want.
  • The Menu is located on the left side of the screen. Menu items are as follows:
    • Incidents: This option shows any unplanned traffic incidents that may cause lanes to be closed or traffic speeds to slow.
    • Construction: This option shows construction that may interfere with the flow of traffic.
    • Traffic Speeds: This option uses Google Traffic Speeds to display traffic speeds on select roads.
    • Cameras: This option allows you to view traffic cameras, which are available on select freeways throughout the region.
    • FasTrak Tolls: This option displays the most recent toll prices at each gantry on the I-15 Express Lanes. Clicking on the FasTrak Tolls menu item also will display a list of all toll locations on the Express Lanes.
    • Transit Routes: This option displays transit routes throughout the region, including scheduled departure and arrival times.
  • The magnifying glass located above the menu allows you to zoom to a place, or search for directions via transit, car, bike, or walk.
  • Text only allows you to view the alerts in text form.
  • A legend is located at the bottom of the map and contains explanations of what each icon represents.
  • The Navigation Bars on the top and bottom of the page operate exactly like the Navigation Bars on the rest of the Traffic page.
  • The Layers menu, located in the upper right corner of the map, allows you to view multiple menu items at once. Simply click on the “Layers” button, and select the options you’d like to view.

How do I use the Map Tools?

The Google Map contains built-in navigation controls for allowing user interaction through the map.

Zoom slider: Use it to zoom in and out on a location.

Pan: Use the up, down, left, and right controls to navigate around the map. A user also can drag map around to see different parts of the map.

The “Map” and “Satellite” buttons in the upper right corner of the map allow you to choose how you want to view the map. You can view it as a standard map or as a satellite image.

How are the congestion levels shown in the Traffic Speeds layer translated into speeds?

Traffic speeds are delineated by colored bands along the roadways. Each color denotes a different level of congestion. The following table shows the defined congestion levels displayed in the Traffic Congestion legend. Note that speed ranges are calculated as a percentage of the speed limit for each roadway segment. The "No Data" congestion level is used to indicate roadways for which there is no information currently available that would allow a congestion level to be determined.


I made a mistake when I picked my starting point. What do I do now?

If you picked the wrong starting point when using the “Pick a route” search feature, just drag and drop the green or red pins on the map to your preferred location. Or, you can re-enter specific addresses in either the A or B box, and hit “search” again.

What are cookies and why are session cookies used on the 511 Traffic website?

Cookies are a small amount of data sent to your browser from a web server and stored on your computer's hard drive. The 511 Traffic website uses session cookies and persistent cookies. Session cookies expire after the user exits the website, or shortly after, and are not generally considered to be a privacy or security concern. Persistent cookies tend to have a longer life-span and are used to retain user session information such as settings and configuration parameters. Cookies are unique to each website and information in them cannot be accessed by other websites. The cookies used by the 511 Traffic website do not provide any personal information about the user and are only used to enhance the user's experience with the 511 Traffic website. Please refer to the privacy policy for more information on the use of cookies.

Sometimes the traffic data seems to be different in the different browser windows.

There may be times when you are using the 511 Traffic website that you have multiple browser windows open. An example would be when displaying the detailed information of a driving time route that was generated through the use of the graphical map tools. Each browser window is refreshed every three minutes and this interval starts at the time the browser window was first displayed. Therefore, there may be times when one browser window has refreshed based on its refresh interval and initial display time, but the other browser window has yet to reach its refresh interval time.