From the 511 Deployment Coalition case study: total costs (to design, implement, and operate for one year) averaged $2.5 million among six statewide systems and $1.8 million among three metropolitan systems.

November 2006
Ft. Lauderdale,Florida,United States; Orlando,Florida,United States; Miami,Florida,United States; Statewide,Utah,United States; Statewide,Arizona,United States; Statewide,North Carolina,United States; Statewide,Virginia,United States; Statewide,Kansas,United States; Statewide,Washington,United States

Summary Information

Since the initial launch of 511 in 2001, numerous statewide and metropolitan traveler information systems have come on-line. In May 2004, the 511 Deployment Coalition began a cost analysis activity. In addition to documenting cost information collected from surveys of 511 deployers, the history and benefits of 511 systems were also published (see brochure titled, "The Value of Deploying 511"). The cost accounting methods varied among each of the deployers participating in the survey making the collection of comparable cost data challenging. Nevertheless, a cost category framework was established and documented. Cost data were organized into four major categories:
    • Labor
    • Equipment and 511 content preparation
    • Telecommunications
    • Marketing and evaluation
The framework summarizes cost data across two phases or timeframes: development, and operations & maintenance.

To address the limitations of the initial costs analysis, the 511 Deployment Coalition conducted a more in-depth cost analysis based on the experience from nine 511 deployers. The nine 511 systems include six statewide systems: Utah, Arizona, North Carolina, Virginia, Kansas, and Washington; and three metropolitan/regional systems in Florida: Tampa, Southeast Florida, and Central Florida. As a result, this case study provides decision-makers and planners with the costs from existing 511 systems and supports the Coalition's outreach effort to bring more 511 systems on-line in the next few years. The Coalition believes that the nine systems represent conditions that others are likely to experience (e.g., large-scale deployments undergoing major enhancements, a variety of traveler information service offerings, system development from scratch).

Although the costs of the nine systems vary widely, future 511 deployers can study each sample system described along with the associated detailed cost presented in the report to better plan and estimate costs for their specific system. The report authors caution the reader to use care and to factor in the system context when comparing costs. Each of the nine systems vary in size, complexity, how long deployed, business model, marketing, level of usage, functionality already in place when deployed, features added after deployment, and the structure of the local telecommunications carriers and pricing structures, which contribute to variability in overall deployment and operating & maintenance (O&M) costs.

The cost category framework established in the initial cost collection activity was applied in this later cost analysis case study. The timeframe for costs was further refined into three distinct phases:
    • planning and design,
    • implementation, and
    • first year O&M.
The overall costs of the six statewide systems, excerpted from the report, are presented below. On average the statewide systems cost approximately $2.5 million to design, implement and operate during the first year. The range is from just under $1 million to just over $5 million; however, most of the system costs were closer to $1 million to $2 million.

Planning and Design
Annual O&M
North Carolina

The overall costs of the three metropolitan Florida systems, excerpted from the report, are presented below. On average the metropolitan systems costs $1.8 million to design, implement and operate during the first year. The range is from just over $1.5 million to just over $2 million.

Planning and Design
Annual O&M
Southeast Florida
Central Florida

The case study also analyzed system efficiency with which deployers delivered services to callers. The average O&M cost per call ranged from under $0.50 to just under $2.50. The average cost per call was under $1.00 for five of the nine systems. The volume of calls received affects the average cost per call. Of the nine systems, those with higher call volumes are able to spread the cost over a greater number of calls. Typically, these are systems that have been deployed for a longer time and have accumulated a higher call volume than some of the newer, less efficient systems.

System Cost Comments

No comments posted to date

Comment on this System Cost

To comment on this summary, fill in the information below and click on submit. An asterisk (*) indicates a required field. Your name and email address, if provided, will not be posted, but are to contact you, if needed to clarify your comments.


511 Deployment Costs: A Case Study

Author: 511 Deployment Coalition

Published By: 511 Deployment Coalition

Source Date: November 2006


System Cost

Overall cost range of a statewide 511 system: $1.0 million to $5.2 million.

Overall cost range of a metropolitan 511 system: $1.5 million to $2.4 million.

Average cost per call range: under $0.50 to just under $2.50.


Average User Rating

0 ( ratings)

Rate this System Cost

(click stars to rate)

Cost ID: 2007-00125