About 511NJ Phone Service

Sometimes motorists don't have access to a computer, but need transportation information fast.  In such cases, dialing 511 on the telephone can help motorists find all the necessary information regarding area road conditions.  511NJ is available through landline and wireless phones.

This frequently asked questions (FAQs) is designed to assist you in better understanding:

  • how the 511NJ phone system works;
  • the information it provides; and
  • the most efficient ways to access the information.

    If your question is not listed here or you can't find the information you need, please contact us 

    Q.  Is there a cost to access 511NJ?

    A.  There is no charge for the service itself, but calling 511 from a landline phone will cost the same as making any local call; wireless phone users will incur no extra charges by calling 511.  However, they will use minutes on wireless calling plans, and roaming charges may apply.

    Q.  How do I use the 511NJ System?

    A.  Simply dial 511 or the toll free number 1.866.511.NJDT (6538).  An automated voice system will prompt callers to choose from options such as Traffic Conditions, NJ TRANSIT, EZ Pass, and 511 New York, or 511 Pennsylvannia.  Callers can respond verbally or by using the telephone's keypad.

    In order to improve safety, the New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT) recommends that motorists call 511 before driving, or ask a passenger to call 511.  New Jersey law states that using a hand-held communications device while driving a vehicle is a primary offense.  Authorities will issue a fine to any driver caught violating this law.  Although it is discouraged, drivers may use a hands-free device if it does not interfere with standard safety equipment.

    Q.  What do I do when the system cannot recognize what I am saying?

    A.  511NJ uses a state-of-the art voice-recognition system to guide you through the menu options.  Sometimes the system might have a difficult time recognizing your request due to one of following reasons:

    • If you are saying something that the system is not programmed to recognize at that particular menu.
    • While we have made every attempt to ensure that 511NJ is accessible to as many people as possible, the system might have difficulty understanding your voice.
    • Background noise could prevent the system from recognizing you request.

    Please speak as clearly as possible and try to eliminate background noise.

    You can also try 511NJ's touch-tone system.  Just press "0" at each menu and the system will provide options and direct you to select a corresponding number.  Remember to press zero (0) at every new menu to hear the touch-tone codes.

    Once you've learned the touch-tones, however, there is no need
    to press zero to hear the list of choice; just enter your selection. The number that you enter will correspond to the order in which the menu options are presented.  For example, if you are in the Traffic menu and want to listen to traffic incidents, you will hear traffic incidents listed as the first option.

    By pressing "1" immediately, you will gain access to Traffic Conditions.  However, this procedure will not work when selecting an item from a long list, such as the list of cities in Traffic Conditions.  These lists begin at 10 rather than one.

    Q.  What are the tricks for navigating the system faster and more efficiently?

    A.  You can move the system faster by interrupting the system.  Once you know what questions will be asked, you can answer them as the system starts asking them.  There's no need to wait for the systemto finish the question before answering.

    Another trick to better navigate the  system is to use shortcuts.  Shortcuts are requests, like "NJ Transit" or "EZ Pass" made at the Main Menu, that bypass the menu structure and take you directly to the feature you requested.

    Other tricks for faster and more efficient navigation are using the following commands:

    • Main Menu
      This command is recognizable anywhere in the system and will take you directly back to the Main Menu.  It is necessary if you want to check Traffic Conditions but are in the Help Menu.
    • Repeat
      If for some reason you forget or are unable to hear part of the listed prompts, you can always say "Repeat".
    • Next Incident
      In Traffic Conditions, say "next incident" if you want to skip an incident during incident playback.
    • Go Back
      To return to a previous menu, say "Go Back"

    Q.  What are the shortcuts at the Main Menu

    A.  Say any of the following shortcuts and go directly to that area of the 511NJ system:

    • Traffic Conditions
      This section provides current information about incidents statewide. 

      To select a route, you can simply say "78" instead of "Interstate 78," or to be more specific, say "I-78" or "I-78 East."  As with the rest of the 511NJ system, you can interrupt the operator at any time.  While 511NJ is giving you information about an incident, you can say "next" to skip to the next incident.
    • New Jersey TRANSIT
      This option transfers callers to New Jersey TRANSIT's Customer Service Center.
    • E-Z Pass
      This option transfers callers to New Jersey's E-ZPassTM Customer Service Center, which has information on the E-ZPassTM Electronic Toll Collection program. E-ZPass is a fast and convenient way for drivers to pay tolls via an electronic transponder.  E-PassTM subscribers use dedicated E-ZPassTM toll lanes and the tolls are automatically deducted from their prepaid E-ZPassTM accounts.

    • 511 New York and 511 Pennsylvania
      This option transfers callers to our neighboring state's 511 systems.  If you are interested in getting traffic condition information about roadways in New York or Pennsylvania, simply ask 511NJ for this feature and you will be transferred to the appropriate state system.
    • Leave a Comment
      This option allows callers to record a message for 511NJ.org partner agencies on how the service performed and/or suited your needs.  Calls are monitored and reviewed but it should be noted that callers should NOT anticipate a returned call or acknowledgment of their message.
    • Help
      If you need help, just say "Help" or "What are my choices?" at any time to go to hear your options for the current menu.  To return to a previous menu, say "Go Back."  To start over, say "Main Menu."


    Q.  How do I give my feedback on the 511NJ service?

    A.  The best way to give feedback is to use the 511NJ Comments section, under the Home tab of 511NJ website at the Main Menu or press "77" at any time during the call and the 511NJ system will prompt you to leave a recorded message.  We will also periodically offer phone surveys on the system as a way to receive information on the system.

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

    A.  Hearing-impaired callers can dial 711to access all of the 511NJ transportation information.  711 is the national three-digit number for access to Telecommunication Relay Service (TRS).  Callers dial 711 and ask the operator to connect them to the 511NJ service.  Once connected, the 711 operator acts as a go-between, relaying callers' request for travel information to the 511NJsystem and then providing system responses back to the callers.

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

    A.  Speech-impaired callers can use the touch-tone system to access all of the 511NJ transportation information.  To use touch-tone selections just press "0" at each menu.  The system will list the menu options with a corresponding number.  You simply press the number that matches your choice.

    Every time you reach a new menu or choice, you must press zero to hear the touch-tone options, but once you learn the touch-tones, there is no need to press zero to hear the list of choices; just enter your selection.

    The number to enter will correspond to the order that the order that the menu options are presented.  For example, if you are listening to the Traffic menu and would like event information you will it listed as the first item.  Therefore, by pressing "1" you will gain access to Traffic Conditions.  The only time this will not work is where there are long lists such as with a list of cities in Traffic Conditions.

    Q.  What if the system is busy when I call?

    A.  The system may be experiencing an unusually high volume of calls when you tried to call the service, so the best advice is simply to call back.  We are monitoring call volumes and if we need to increase capacity, we will do so.  Also, if you are at home or work and have access to a computer and the Internet, you can always visit the 511NJ website for current information.

    Q.  Why do I not reach the 511NJ system when I dial 511?

    A.  There are three reasons why you may not reach the 511NJ system:


    • Your telephone company currently does not provide access to 511.  The NJDOT has diligently worked to provide 511 on all local phone services.  We currently provide 511 access to approximately 95 percent of the State of New Jersey.  We will continue to negotiate with the State's 25+ landline carriers in order to provide 511 access to everyone who uses a landline telephone.
    • The NJDOT has agreements with these wireless providers:  AT&T Wireless, Sprint/Nextel, T-Mobile and Verizon to provide access to 511NJ, please write or call your vendor and ask if they will implement 511.  A form letter (pdf 75k)  that requests 511 access for your company is provided.  Also, please contact NJDOT with the name of your vendor to enable us to facilitate your access to 511NJ.
    • Certain office telephone systems cannot access this new three-digit code.  Additionally, some pay telephone services may have programmed 511 services yet.  If your carrier or pay phone provider does not offer 511, you may dial 1.866.511.6538 for direct access to 511NJ.

    Q.  We are a wireless phone service provider and would like to enable calls to 511 for our customers.  How do we enable this connection?

    A.  To enable the 511 phone service connection for your customers, please contact the NJDOT 511 Project Manager

    Q.  Why can't I connect to 511NJ from my office?

    A.  Most landline and wireless carriers have agreed to provide access to the 511NJ service.  Motorists who cannot access 511NJ should contact their local providers directly in order to transfer calls to 511NJ.

    • If your office telephone is not programmed to allow 511 dialing, consult your office manager or telephone system administrator.  Office Managers and Technical Support personnel can allow for the use of the 511 code by enabling the transmission of the 511 digits (3-digits instead of 7,10, or 11) when dialed from Private Branch Exchange (PBX).  Office Managers and Technical Support personnel should send the 511 digits to the local telephone carrier in order to connect to the 511 service.
    • Please write or call your vendor and ask if they will implement 511.  A form letter (pdf 75k) that requests 511 access for your company is provided.  Also, please contact NJDOT with the name of your vendor to enable us to facilitate your access to 511NJ.
    *Disclaimer: Traffic information is subject to change at any time.
    The Travel Time values are displayed in Red when they exceed 50 percent of their Historical values.
    + - portions based on historical data.
    Travel Times are displayed in HH:MM format.
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