[Federal Register Volume 67, Number 11 (Wednesday, January 16, 2002)]
[Pages 2274-2278]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 02-1163]



Federal Highway Administration

Federal Transit Administration

Model Deployment of a Regional, Multi-Modal 511 Traveler 
Information System; Request for Participation

AGENCY: Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), Federal Transit 
Administration (FTA), DOT.

ACTION: Notice; request for participation.


SUMMARY: The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and the Federal 
Transit Administration (FTA) are seeking applications from public 
agencies that are currently deploying, or operating, a telephone system 
that delivers traveler information services so that those agencies may 
enhance their system to provide a high quality 511 service. This effort 
will provide for the enhancements to an existing telephone traveler 
information service, which has converted to the nationally available 
three-digit telephone number, 511, or will soon convert to 511. The 
purpose of this model deployment is to establish and document an 
innovative example of a 511 system that advances content quality and 
user interfaces. Applicants in response to this notice are encouraged 
to demonstrate their readiness to develop and implement a state-of-the-
art 511 traveler information service and to articulate the adequacy of 
their proposed approach related to geographic areas, institutional 
coordination, and information to be provided.

DATES: Applications must be received at the office designated below on 
or before 4 p.m. on March 18, 2002.

ADDRESSES: Applications should be submitted to the U.S. Department of 
Transportation, Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) Joint Program 
Office (JPO), 511 Model Deployment, 400 Seventh St., SW., Room 3416, 
HOIT-1, Washington, DC 20590-0001.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For technical questions or concerns, 
please contact Mr. Robert Rupert, FHWA Office of Travel Management 
(HOTM-1), (202) 366-2194; Mr. Ron Boenau, FTA Advanced Public 
Transportation Systems Division (TRI-11), (202) 366-4995; or Mr. James 
Pol, FHWA Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) Joint Program Office 
(HOIT-1), (202) 366-4374. For legal questions or concerns please 
contact Ms. Gloria Hardiman-Tobin, FHWA Office of Chief Counsel (HCC-
40), (202) 366-0780; or Ms. Linda Sorkin, FTA Office of Chief Counsel 
(HCC-20), (202) 366-1936; Department of Transportation, 400 Seventh 
Street, SW., Washington, D.C. 20590-0001. Office hours are from 8 a.m. 
to 4:30 p.m., e.t., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.


Electronic Access

    An electronic copy of this document may be downloaded using a modem 
and suitable communications software from the Government Printing 
Office's Electronic Bulletin Board Service at (202) 512-1661. Internet 
users may reach the Office of the Federal Register's home page at 
http://www.nara.gov/fedreg and the Government Printing Office's web 
page at http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara.
    The document may also be viewed at the U.S. DOT's ITS home page at 


    On July 21, 2000, the Federal Communications Commission assigned 
511 as the nationwide traveler information telephone number and granted 
responsibility for it to government transportation agencies. The 
nationwide three-digit number utilizes and significantly advances the 
intelligent transportation infrastructure already in place to assist 
some States and cities in providing traveler information. Data obtained 
from 511 traveler information services will provide current information 
about bad weather, construction, or traffic jams that cause delays for 
businesses and the general public, as well as information about the 
status of transit buses, ferries, light rail, and other public 
transportation in local communities. In addition, by providing 
information that will direct drivers away from congestion and hazardous 
conditions, better access will be available for emergency vehicles 
responding to incidents.
    This model deployment seeks to demonstrate the potential of 511 
services to bring together various and disparate data, and provide 
useful information to travelers and potential travelers through a 
state-of-the-art telephone interface. The selected application (or 
applications) will demonstrate an understanding of the project 
objectives and will describe an approach that can be realistically 
accomplished within the schedule and funding constraints. The selected 
application will represent a location that presents a rich environment 
for generating a demand for traveler information. This environment will 
include recurring traffic congestion, on-going roadway construction 
impacting regional travel, variable weather conditions that impact 
travel, the availability of multiple modes of travel, and coordination 
with public safety agencies in a regional incident management program.
    The timing of this model deployment has been planned by the U.S. 
DOT to take advantage of several on-going efforts by both the American 
Association of State Highway Transportation Officials (AASHTO) and the 
U.S. DOT. These efforts are at various stages of completion at the time 
of the release of this request for participation (RFP). It is the goal 
of the U.S. DOT that this model deployment illustrates how the 
innovative application of technologies can create a highly effective 
511 service that sets a standard for high quality telephone traveler 
information. Some on-going research activities are likely to yield

[[Page 2275]]

products that will aid in the advancement of the selected agency's 511 
system. These on-going research efforts include the following 
    (a) 511 Early Adopters Evaluations--Six areas of the country have 
been identified as early adopters of 511. These six areas are working 
with an independent evaluation team contracted by the FHWA to glean 
institutional and technical issues surrounding the redirection of 
existing traveler information phone numbers to 511. This is an on-going 
activity with reports available on the U.S. DOT 511 web page (http://www.its.dot.gov/511/511.htm). The six early adopters of 511 include 
metropolitan Cincinnati, Ohio (including Covington, Kentucky); San 
Francisco, California; Arizona (Statewide); Minnesota (Statewide); Utah 
(Statewide); and Detroit, Michigan.
    (b) 511 Deployment Assistance and Coordination Program--The AASHTO 
is leading the 511 Deployment Coalition to develop policy and technical 
materials that will provide guidance to States and locations as they 
implement 511. Guidelines for the information content, service 
consistency, and quality of service will be available in the spring of 
2002. More information on the guidelines can be obtained through http://www.itsa.org/511.html.
    (c) Testing of XML conversion of the Society of Automotive 
Engineers (SAE) Advanced Traveler Information Systems (ATIS) Message 
Sets--The FHWA is currently testing the eXtensible Mark-up Language 
(XML) conversion of the SAE ATIS Message Sets through the 
implementation of a multi-jurisdictional traveler information service. 
The draft results of this test will be available by the end of 2001.\1\

    \1\ For more information, visit http://www.mitretek.org/its/TripInfo/atis.html

    (d) ATIS Data Fusion--The FHWA is beginning to develop guidelines 
for combining, or fusing, data from a variety of sources to produce 
traveler information. This effort focuses on examining the different 
levels of quality that can be achieved according to a set of operating 
scenarios. Draft data fusion guidelines will be available in early 
2002, and will be retrievable through the U.S. DOT Web site at http://www.its.dot.gov.

Objectives and Scope of the 511 Model Deployment

    The objective of the 511 model deployment is to ``push the 
envelope'' of traveler information quality production and 
dissemination, along with an innovative user interface that promotes 
ease of use without compromising the user's expectation for 
personalized information. The resulting deployment is expected to 
remain in operation following the end of the model deployment 
evaluation. The period of performance of the 511 model deployment is 
expected to be 12 months from the effective date of the partnership 
    The scope of this model deployment includes addressing the 
institutional coordination that is necessary to implement an effective, 
sophisticated 511 service. The agency lead for the project team to 
which this model deployment is awarded (hereafter referred to as ``lead 
agency'') will assess the extent of integration that is currently 
available among the key stakeholder agencies (highway agencies, transit 
organizations and public safety agencies). The lead agency will secure 
agreements from each stakeholder to provide their content to the 511 
system, and forge agreements that enable the transmission of 
information with the greatest frequency possible to provide current 
information. The lead agency will ensure that all the information 
elements that will be received from the stakeholders, including 
frequency of transmission of information, are documented. The lead 
agency will develop appropriate message sets to convey each of the 
stakeholders' information to a consolidation point. The message sets 
shall take full advantage of the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) 
standard message sets for ATIS (standard SAE J2354).\2\ The lead agency 
will also consider the XML translation of the SAE Message Sets to 
simplify transmission via the Internet to any number of media outlets. 
Other viable solutions for exchanging information among centers will be 

    \2\ More information on the SAE ATIS Message Sets can be 
obtained through http://www.its-standards.net/Documents/J2354.pdf

    The lead agency will describe the operational concept for the 511 
service that articulates the roles and responsibilities for each of the 
stakeholders in providing content for the innovative 511. This 
operational concept will fully describe how the project team will seek 
innovative methods to deliver telephone-based traveler information. The 
lead agency will also distinguish how the information among its 
stakeholders will be conveyed according to geographical context. The 
purpose of developing an operational concept is to guide the lead 
agency, the stakeholder agencies, and the project participants in an 
understanding of what their levels of effort will be in sustaining the 
innovative 511 system. In addition, the operational concept will aid in 
the incorporation of new functionalities as technology and customer 
demands evolve.
    Two elements of the innovative 511 service should be highlighted:
    (1) The project team to which this 511 model deployment is awarded 
(hereafter referred to as ``project team'') will perform data fusion of 
all stakeholder content. Effective data fusion will enable the 511 
system to provide information to callers automatically on a route 
segment or corridor basis, with no direct contact necessary between 
callers and human operators. At a minimum, the content shall include: 
current traffic conditions; major service disruptions for public 
transportation properties; current information on active construction 
and maintenance projects along route segments that may affect traffic 
flow or restrict lanes; unplanned events, major incidents, or 
congestion that shut down or significantly restrict traffic for an 
extended period; transportation-related information associated with 
significant special events (fairs, sporting events, etc.); and abnormal 
weather or road surface conditions that could affect travel along the 
route segment. The project team will describe, in the operational 
concept, how the innovative 511 system will affect their existing 
methods of data fusion.
    (2) The design of the user interface must allow callers to locate 
the content they desire quickly and efficiently. User interfaces must 
be consistent in appearance, but may vary in content according to the 
origin of the phone call, i.e., whether the caller is mobile or 
landline based. The user interface must take advantage of proven voice-
recognition, voice response, and synthesized speech technologies. 
``Natural speech'' techniques are desired. Keypad entry interfaces 
alone will not be considered innovative technology for this 511 model 
deployment. The user interface should provide the most convenient 
method of information retrieval possible. Keypad entry interfaces rely 
upon extensive information trees which extends the user's retrieval 
time. The following top-level commands should be used when a system has 
the relevant information available: ``Transit Information,'' ``Highway 
Information,'' ``Airport Information,'' ``Rail Station Information,'' 
and ``Ferry Information.''
    Upon the completion of the operational concept, the ITS Joint 
Program Office (ITS JPO) shall have the opportunity to review the 
progress of

[[Page 2276]]

the project and determine the likelihood of a successful completion of 
the 511 model deployment. Upon completion of the review, the ITS JPO 
will determine if funding will be made available to the selected model 
deployment location for the completion of the innovative 511 service.
    The project team will implement the 511 multi-modal, regional 
system and demonstrate that the system functions as described in the 
operational concept and as designed. The project team will ensure 
monitoring of the operational status of the 511 system, and that 
necessary adjustments are made. The project team will demonstrate that 
the 511 system has the stability criteria developed jointly between the 
U.S. DOT and the project team during the development of the operational 
concept. The project team will operate the stable 511 system in support 
of an evaluation for a period of time as jointly developed and agreed 
to during the development of the operational concept. The project team 
will provide an appropriate level of ongoing support to achieve 
completion of all deployment and testing tasks as described in the 
operational concept.
    The project team will synthesize and present evaluation findings as 
they relate to the objectives of the model deployment. The project team 
will document the 511 system design, and synthesize the technical and 
institutional issues documented in previous tasks. The project team 
will submit a final report to the ITS JPO that includes the above 
information and describes the project and its findings.


    The total amount of Federal funding available for this effort is 
estimated at $1,100,000. The instrument to provide funding, on a cost 
reimbursable basis, will be an ITS partnership agreement between the 
FHWA and a public organization. Multiple partnership agreements are 
anticipated. Federal funding authority is derived from Sec. 5001(a)(5) 
of the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century (TEA-21), Public 
Law 105-178, 112 Stat. 107, 419 (1998). Actual award of funds will be 
subject to funding availability.

Matching Share

    There is a statutorily required (refer to Sec. 5001(b) and 
Sec. 5207(d) of TEA-21) minimum twenty percent matching share that must 
be from non-federally derived funding sources, and must consist of 
either cash, substantial equipment contributions that are wholly 
utilized as an integral part of the project, or personnel services 
dedicated full-time to the 511 model deployment for a substantial 
period, as long as such personnel are not otherwise supported with 
Federal funds. The non-federally derived funding may come from State, 
local government, or private sector partners. Note that funding 
identified to support continued operations, maintenance, and management 
of the system will not be considered as part of the partnership's cost-
share contribution.
    Offerors are encouraged to consider additional matching share above 
and beyond the required minimum match described above. Those offerors 
willing to propose additional match may include the value of federally-
supported projects directly associated with the 511 model deployment. 
Offerors that do propose additional matching share above and beyond the 
required minimum match may receive additional consideration in the 
proposal evaluation.
    The U.S. DOT and the Comptroller General of the United States have 
the right to access all documents pertaining to the use of Federal ITS 
funds and non-Federal contributions. Grantees and subgrantees are 
responsible for obtaining audits in accordance with the Single Audit 
Act Amendments of 1996 (31 U.S.C. 7501-7507) and revised OMB Circular 
A-133, ``Audits of States, Local Governments, and Non-Profit 
Organizations.'' The audits shall be made by an independent auditor in 
accordance with generally accepted government auditing standards 
covering financial audits (refer to 49 CFR 18.26).

National Evaluation

    Evaluation is the reasoned consideration of how well project goals 
and objectives are being achieved. The primary purpose of evaluation is 
to cause changes in the project so that it eventually meets or exceeds 
its goals and objectives. Formal, in-depth, independently conducted 
evaluations are funded by the ITS JPO.
    The partnerships selected to participate in this 511 model 
deployment are expected to cooperate with the ITS JPO and its national 
evaluation team. The independent national evaluator is selected and 
provided by the ITS JPO.
    This cooperation that is expected by the awarded partnership 
    (a) Providing all relevant project information such as cost data 
(deployment, operations, and maintenance), project goals and 
objectives, contractual documents, project documentation, existing or 
archived data, benefits data, and other project related information;
    (b) Ensuring that the relevant project information is provided to 
the independent national evaluator in a timely fashion;
    (c) Identifying an evaluation point(s) of contact to represent the 
participating agencies in coordinating with the independent national 
    (d) Making accommodations (where appropriate) for the independent 
national evaluator to be present at coordination or partnership 
    (e) Ensuring that any self-evaluation activities being conducted by 
the project participants are coordinated with and reviewed by the 
national evaluation effort; and
    (f) Providing review of relevant reports, presentations, etc., 
prepared by the independent national evaluator.


    To be eligible for participation in the 511 model deployment 
program, applications must:
    (a) Demonstrate that they either have an operational 511 traveler 
information telephone system, or have a telephone system for traveler 
information that is prepared to convert to using 511;
    (b) Demonstrate that the proposed location for the 511 model 
deployment experiences recurring congestion, has roadway construction 
that will significantly impact regional travel for the period of the 
model deployment, is likely to experience weather conditions that will 
impact regional travel during the period of the model deployment 
(snowstorms, hurricanes, etc.), offers multiple mode choices for 
regional travel, and has some form of regional incident management 
program that is coordinated with public safety agencies;
    (c) Demonstrate that the transportation data and information 
generated from the federal funds applied to this model deployment, as 
well as all public sector matching funds, will be made available 
equally and freely (apart from the costs of the physical connection to 
retrieve such data) to all parties who express interest in such data or 
    (d) Demonstrate that sufficient funding is available to 
successfully complete all aspects of implementing the 511 model 
    (e) Contain a technical plan, a management and staffing plan, and a 
financial plan. Any portion of the application or its contents that may 
contain proprietary information shall be clearly indicated; otherwise, 
the application and its contents shall be non-proprietary; and
    (f) Demonstrate a commitment to a 12 month schedule that will 

[[Page 2277]]

results within the expected period of performance.

Instructions to Applicants

    An application to participate in the 511 model deployment shall 
consist of three parts: (1) A technical plan describing the proposed 
project team and the approach for implementing 511 services in 
accordance with the objectives and scope; (2) a management and staffing 
plan that provides the names of all key personnel and the positions 
they will occupy as related to this project; and (3) a financial plan, 
that describes the proposed activities to be conducted with this 
funding. The complete application shall not exceed 35 pages in length, 
exclusive of appendices, resumes, and Memoranda of Understanding (MOUs) 
or other documents indicating cooperation among proposing parties. A 
page is defined as one side of an 8\1/2\ by 11-inch paper, with a type 
font no smaller than 12 point. Applicants must submit seven (7) copies 
plus an unbound reproducible copy. The cover sheet or front page of the 
application should include the name, address, e-mail address, fax 
number and phone number of an individual to whom correspondence and 
questions about the application may be directed.
    The technical, management and staffing, and financial plans 
together shall describe the existing inter-agency, inter-
jurisdictional, and public/private cooperation and partnership 
arrangements, working relationships, and information sharing that will 
be integral to the 511 model deployment. All inter-agency, inter-
jurisdictional, and public/private cooperation and partnerships 
necessary to support the 511 model deployment shall be documented with 
signed MOUs, or alternate appropriate documents, that clearly define 
financial and programmatic responsibilities and relationships among the 
partners. Similarly, the application should document business 
relationships with the private sector to support the 511 model 
deployment, for example, as telecommunications providers or as 
providers of traveler information services or products. The MOUs, or 
alternate appropriate documents, must clearly describe and document the 
role of the private sector, and the financial and institutional 
arrangement(s) under which they are integrated into the 511 model 
deployment. Applicants should include copies of the MOUs or other 
indications of cooperation. Applicants are strongly encouraged to seek 
participation from certified disadvantaged business enterprises (see 49 
CFR part 26), historically black colleges and universities, Hispanic 
serving institutions, and other minority colleges.
    Applications shall be organized in the following three sections:

1. Technical Plan

    Applications should describe the partnership or project team 
arrangements, which include providing the information described in the 
preceding paragraph. Applications should describe the methodology for 
advancing their existing, or soon-to-be-available, 511 system to 
provide a sophisticated user interface with high quality content. This 
technical approach, at a minimum, should:
    (a) Describe the methodology to collocate and ultimately to fuse 
relevant data elements to provide 511 users with comprehensive, 
current, multi-modal traveler information, including a description of 
the current sources of information along with the sources of 
information that will be included for the innovative 511;
    (b) Describe the provision of any personalized and/or 
geographically specific content to the 511 user (applicants must 
demonstrate an acknowledgement and understanding of the ITS Fair 
Information and Privacy Principles crafted by the Intelligent 
Transportation Society of America\3\);

    \3\ This document can be obtained through http://www.itsa.org/privacy.html

    (c) Describe a generalized migration plan that describes how and 
when the existing, or soon-to-be-deployed, 511 service will be migrated 
to the proposed innovative services;
    (d) Describe how the enhanced 511 service will differ from the 
service already provided to the user in terms of sophistication of the 
user interface and the reliability and quality of the information 
provided; and
    (e) Describe how the 511 service may be accessible for the rural 
and inter-city travelers.

2. Project Management and Staffing Plan

    The application should include a management and staffing plan that 
provides a clear description of the lines of responsibility, authority, 
and communication among the participants in the 511 model deployment. 
The management and staffing plan shall include the names of all key 
personnel and the positions they will occupy as related to the 511 
model deployment. Provide the estimated staffing in terms of length of 
employment for each staff member and categorized by the types of staff 
required. The management and staffing plan should demonstrate that the 
project manager is capable, available, and able to commit to a level of 
involvement that ensures project success. Also include brief 
biographical summaries of key technical and other personnel. Applicants 
should provide the schedule of all key activities, including 
contingency for possible difficulties.

3. Financial Plan

    The application should provide a description of the cost of 
achieving the objectives of the model deployment, and the partnership's 
plans for ensuring the matching funds required by this solicitation. 
The application should provide a statement of commitment from the 
proposed 511 model deployment partners that affirms that the proposed 
funding is secure. The application should include all financial 
commitments, from both the public and private sector.

Selection Criteria

    Applicants must submit acceptable technical, management and 
staffing, and financial plans together that provide sound evidence that 
the proposed partnership can successfully meet the objectives of the 
511 model deployment. The ITS JPO will use the following criteria, in 
order of importance, in selecting locations for participation in the 
511 model deployment.

1. Technical Plan

    The technical plan must contain an operational concept and 
technical approach that demonstrates how the 511 model deployment will 
operate when fully implemented, as well as during any incremental 
implementation steps leading to full deployment. The technical plan 
must define the operational roles and responsibilities of the partners 
during operations (and key operator responsibilities). Applicants must 
describe the changes to existing systems and additional elements.
    The technical plan will be evaluated on its adequacy and 
reasonableness to achieve the objectives of the 511 model deployment, 
as previously described under Objectives and Scope of the 511 Model 
Deployment. In particular, the technical plan will be evaluated for the 
overall concept and the extent to which it addresses the scope 
described for the 511 model deployment, including the content and user 
interface of the 511 system. Specifically, the following sub-criteria 
will be used to evaluate the technical proposal (these criteria are 
listed in order of importance):

[[Page 2278]]

    (a) The ability to provide frequently updated information from a 
variety of sources including traffic management, transit management, 
roadway weather information services, construction and road closure 
information, parking management, and emergency services;
    (b) How well the applicant demonstrates the capacity to provide 
sophisticated, innovative solutions in content creation, fusion, and 
    (c) How well the applicant demonstrates the capacity to provide 
sophisticated, innovative solutions in designing and implementing the 
user interface;
    (d) The design of an implementation strategy including a timeline 
for rollout of the enhanced 511 service;
    (e) The application of ITS Standards for information exchange and 
delivery; and
    (f) The demonstrated ability to bring together State, metropolitan, 
and local partners to create a seamless, regional traveler information 

2. Management and Staffing Plan

    The management and staffing plan must demonstrate a reasonable 
estimate that reflects the level of effort and skills needed to 
successfully complete the 511 model deployment, along with the 
identification of the organizations that will supply the staff needed, 
lines of reporting, and responsibilities. The management and staffing 
plan must include the names and qualifications of key staff.
    The management and staffing plan will demonstrate a commitment to 
hire or assign a project manager and provide adequate full-time staff 
to ensure timely implementation of the 511 model deployment. Proposed 
staff should have demonstrated skills for effective operations and 
management, or the commitment to acquiring the necessary skills in 
relevant technical areas, such as systems engineering and integration; 
telecommunications; and information management.
    The selection will be based on the adequacy, thoroughness, and 
appropriateness of the management and staffing plan, including 
organization of the project team, staffing allocation, and the schedule 
for completing the proposed work. Some of the specific items that will 
be evaluated in the management and staffing plan are:
    (a) The availability of key personnel among the participating 
agencies to attend periodic 511 coordination meetings;
    (b) The key personnel that are focused on the systems engineering 
aspects for incorporating the enhancements to the existing, or soon-to-
be-deployed, 511 service; and
    (c) A staffing chart that demonstrates the relationships among the 
participating organizations, including the names of the key personnel 
from each of the organizations.

3. Financial Plan

    The ITS JPO will evaluate the applications based on the total cost 
of the 511 model deployment, as well as the individual staffing costs. 
The financial plan must demonstrate that sufficient funding is 
available to successfully complete all aspects of the 511 model 
deployment as described in the technical plan. The financial plan must 
provide the financial information described previously under 
Instructions to Applicants. The financial plan must include a clear 
identification of the proposed funding for the 511 model deployment, 
including an identification of the required minimum 20% matching funds.
    The financial plan must include a sound financial approach to 
ensure the timely deployment and the continued, long-term operations 
and management of the 511 system. The financial plan must include 
documented evidence of continuing fiscal capacity and commitment from 
anticipated public and private sources.

    Authority: Sec. 5001(a)(5), sec. 5001(b), sec. 5207(d), Pub. L. 
105-178, 112 Stat. 107, 420; 23 U.S.C. 315; 49 CFR 1.48; and 49 CFR 

    Issued on: January 9, 2002.
Mary E. Peters,
Administrator, Federal Highway Administration.
Jennifer L. Dorn,
Administrator, Federal Transit Administration.
[FR Doc. 02-1163 Filed 1-15-02; 8:45 am]