Grant will fund 511 transportation hot line

The San Luis Obispo Council of Governments has received a $147,752 grant from Caltrans for a project that will help pay for a direct dial information system that gives callers information about road conditions, public transportation and ride sharing.

Callers can dial 511 and instantly be connected with information pertaining to roads. According to SLOCOG staff, San Luis Obispo is the first rural area in the nation to implement the program, which is already used in some larger cities. San Luis Obispo County has offered the service since 2009.

The grant is among more than 105 awarded to public transit projects throughout California as part of the Job Access and Reverse Commute and New Freedom programs totaling $18 million.

According to Caltrans, the projects are designed to help low-income people and those with disabilities access employment and employment-related activities such as job training and job interviews more easily, including transporting people to employment opportunities in suburban areas and city centers.