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511 Traveller Information

ITS Canada leads submission of 511 application with CRTC

      January 10, 2005

      View the application


ITS Canada Newsletter Articles

Feb 2010 511 in New Brunswick
Nov 2009 511 Operational Experience – Nova Scotia and Yukon
Jul 2009 511 in Quebec
Aug 2008 511 Moves Ahead in the Yukon
Jan 2008 Nova Scotia becomes first province to implement 511
Dec 2005 511 in Canada – CRTC Application Update
Sep 2005 511 Update
Jun 2005 CRTC Issues Public Notice Re ITS Canada's 511 Application
Apr 2005 511 Gathers Speed
Jan 2005 ITS Canada Leads Submission of 511 Application

511 Panel Discussion at TAC – Calgary

At the TAC Annual Conference on September 20th, 2005, ITS Canada led a panel discussion on 511 and deployments in North America. Participants from Canada included Denis Paquette, Environment Canada; Gerry Chaput, Ontario Ministry of Transportation; and Nancy Lynch, New Brunswick Transportation.

Also participating were special guests from the United States: Ms. Brandi Hamilton from the State of Montana, and Mr Scott Cowherd from the State of Virginia, at the same time representing the 511 Deployment Coalition and the I-95 Coalition, respectively.

Powerpoint presentations made by panel members:

Paul Frigon, ITS Canada
Denis Paquette, Environment Canada
Nancy Lynch, New Brunswick Transportation
Brandi Hamilton, State of Montana, 511 Coalition
Scott Cowherd, State of Virginia, I-95 Coalition


511 Readiness in Canada

A draft development plan for implementing 511 service in Canada. This included defining the functional requirements based on user and deployer needs, addressing the many regulatory and legal requirements prior to system deployment, designing the system itself (accounting for all compatibility and telecommunication needs), and establishing the business model and institutional framework for the operation of the system. Proposed deployment standards and guidelines were also developed to outline the operational standards for Canada 511 and to suggest a number of strategies for the delivery and presentation of these traveller information services. The researchers noted that, while the guidelines contain a significant level of detail, many development plan tasks, including the functional requirements, need to be completed before the guidelines can be finalized.



ITS Canada has initiated an effort to establish the 511 telephone number as an automated “weather and traveller information service” number in Canada. The service will be based on Canadian content and consistency guidelines that are yet to be developed. Harmonizing with U.S. efforts, 511 is anticipated to become a future North American-wide corridor information service for highway and public transportation. The service will include basic and optional content.

There is one major hurdle in Canada: 511 is not yet reserved for “weather and traveller information services” in Canada. The CRTC assigns N11 numbers and will only do so to “applicants” that have evidence of stable organizational capabilities and plans to deliver sustainable services.

A two-phased approach is planned:

Phase 1:  (COMPLETE)

ITS Canada has developed a “Canada 511 Consortium” as the “applicant” (similar to the U.S. 511 Deployment Coalition) consisting of lead agencies and other provincial, municipal and private sector members. The “511 Consortium” is led by ITS Canada and includes the following organizations:

Environment Canada
Transport Canada
Canadian Urban Transit Association
Transportation Association of Canada
The Intelligent Transportation Systems Society of Canada (ITS Canada)

All ten provinces and the Yukon Territory

Phase 2:  (IN PROGRESS)

The 511 Consortium has completed the following tasks:

develop content and consistency guidelines, in harmony with those in the U.S.

develop a plan for delivery of a sustainable 511 service in Canada

apply to CRTC to reserve the 511 number for “traveller information services”

co-ordinate the implementation of 511 across Canada.

ITS Canada led and assisted with funding Phase 1 to develop the Consortium, and to provide sufficient information and background to proceed with Phase 2. The 511 consortium was funded by member groups so that the second phase could be successfully achieved.

It is anticipated that an executive and working group will be formed, and it is hoped that most Canadian agencies that provide traveller and/or weather information will participate in ensuring a credible and sustainable 511 service in Canada. It is envisioned that the service would be developed by local, regional, and provincial agencies with their private sector partners, and would include traffic, transit, and weather information as a minimum.

ITS Canada is excited about participating in this groundbreaking Canadian opportunity. We look forward to the support and cooperation of our partners. For further information, please contact ITS Canada at itscanada@itscanada.ca.

In the United States

U.S. 511 Deployment Coalition – Information by and for 511 deployers

Implementation and Operational Guidelines for 511 Services

Published by the U.S. 511 Deployment Coalition

Latest 511 Deployments in the U.S.