The cost to enhance the Arizona regional, multi-modal 511 traveler information system was just under $1.5 million.

30 September 2005
Arizona,United States

Summary Information

The Arizona 511 Model Deployment included a number of key enhancements to the previous statewide 511 system. The previous system became operational in March 2002 when Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) converted the ten digit telephone information system to 511. The enhanced 511 system became operational the following year (December 2003) and provided a number of enhancements including a redesigned telephone interface and voice recognition system, and new types of content including information on arterial streets, airports, weather, transit services, and local events. The Federal Highway Administration sponsored an evaluation of the Arizona 511 Model Deployment which included cost data collection and analysis.

The total capital cost of the Arizona enhanced 511 system was approximately $1,412,000 with annual operating costs for the first year at approximately $293,000. Annual operating costs for future years are estimated at $210,000. Federal funding for the model deployment totaled $1.14 million. Remaining funding came from ADOT and their 511 partners.

The table below and subsequent tables excerpted from the report provide additional cost component details.

511 Cost Components
Capital Cost Design and Development
Capital Cost Implementation
Total Capital Cost
Operations - One-Year Model Deployment Operational Cost
Operations - Estimated Annual Cost for Future Years
ADOT Staff
Project Manager
IT Manager
IT Staff
Public Information Officer
511 Enhancements (ADOT "Projects")
Highway Condition and Reporting System Enhancement
Voice Response Activated System Enhancement
Operations Enhancement
Segment Weather Information Enhancement
Travel Time Trial
Still in Testing
Bus Arrival Time Trial
Premium Service Research
Evaluation Support
Program Management Support
Other Operations Costs
Phone Charges (toll free, call transfers, etc.)
T-1 Line Rental (4 T-1's, totaling 96 lines)

The major cost driver of the enhanced 511 system was the implementation of the voice response activated system enhancement which included all of the changes to the menu and voice recognition system. This enhancement ended up costing approximately $560,000 (61% higher than expected). Additional cost over-runs were associated with program management support (37% higher than expected) and the travel time trial (8% higher than expected).

The overall cost of the enhanced 511 system was much greater than the cost of the pre-enhanced 511 system. The substantial difference in cost underscores the scope and scale of the Model Deployment and how significantly it altered the Arizona 511 system. The table below highlights the capital cost expenditures. The cost data for the enhanced 511 system are from the Model Deployment period 2003 – 2004, and the costs for the pre-enhanced 511 system are from 1998 – 1999, approximately. Implementation costs are broken out by hardware, software & engineering, and marketing categories for easy comparison between the pre-enhanced and enhanced systems. Clearly, software & engineering were key cost drivers for the enhanced system. These costs include ADOT staff and all consultant support services associated with the six ADOT projects that were not postponed or cancelled.

Although hardware costs for both systems are within a close range; the hardware costs for the enhanced system were a small percentage (4 percent) of the total implementation costs. The $60,069 included a $5,000 machine for digital voice recordings and four new interactive voice response (IVR) servers (totaling $55,069). The hardware were purchased under the “VRAS Enhancement” ADOT project.


Deployment Capital Cost Component
Pre-enhanced 511 System
Enhanced 511 System
Design & Development
    -Software & Engineering

With respect to recurring cost, the cost to operate the enhanced system in the first year was about twice as much to operate the pre-enhanced system. The increase in cost is attributed to program management support. This cost is expected to decrease in future years as less ADOT staff time and consultant support is required. The major cost drivers for the pre-enhanced system and the enhanced system are the phone charges and T-1 line rentals. The table below highlights operating cost expenditures and costs for future operations.


Annual Operations
Cost Component
Pre-enhanced 511 System
Enhanced 511 System - Year of Operation
Enhanced 511 System - Future Years of Operation
ADOT staff
Consultant support HCRS
Consultant support IVR
Program Management
Phone Charges (toll free, call transfers, etc.)
T-1 Line Rental (4 T-1's, totaling 96 lines)

All costs reported for the Model Deployment or "post-enhancement" period are for the period approximately 2003 - 2004. Costs for the "pre-enahncement" period are for the period approximately 1998 - 1999.

See also:

Related ITS system cost summary for the Arizona 511 pre-enhanced system - Interim Analysis Report Model Deployment of a Regional, Multi-Modal 511 Traveler Information System.

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Model Deployment of a Regional, Multi-Modal 511 Traveler Information System: Final Report

Author: Battelle and the University of Arizona

Published By: Federal Highway Administration, U.S. DOT

Prepared by Battelle and the University of Arizona for the U.S. DOT

Source Date: 30 September 2005

EDL Number: 14248

Other Reference Number: Report No. FHWA-JPO-06-013


System Cost

Arizona Enhanced 511 System (Model Deployment).

Capital Costs: $1,412,000 (2003-04).

First year operating costs: $293,000 (2003-04).

Future annual operating costs: $210,000 (2003-04).


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Cost ID: 2006-00099