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Flashpacking in New York courtesy of 511

Travelers negotiating their way around New York may be interested to learn about a new initiative that could help them make the most of their trip.

A telephone resource called 511 New York has been launched that will provide 'real-time' travel information useful for hostel-staying backpackers and local people.

Using state-of-the-art technology, details concerning every aspect of the transport network will be made available to ensure that journeys remain as smooth as possible.

New York State Department of Transportation acting commissioner Stanley Gee commented: "The 511 system developed by the state department of transportation will be among the best traveler information systems in the country.

"We have brought a remarkable new service to the public that will help travelers avoid traffic congestion, alert motorists to emergency and weather-related road closures and facilitate trip planning for all types of transportation."

The initiative is likely to make a trip to New York - to see the iconic sights such as Central Park and the Empire State Building - less hampered by traffic congestion or poorly running local transport.

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