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Saw the traffic search option under the Audio menu in my #9 yesterday. I'm guessing this is to pick up special traffic data in text format broadcast by various FM stations in the area. The radio searched all FM stations but didn't locate any traffic info. I know this is more commonly found in Europe than the US, but has anyone found a "traffic" station yet? I'm in the SF Bay Area. Tested this on the weekend, perhaps they only broadcast this data during the week?

Adam
 

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I believe traffic is not looking for traffic stations but, stations that are announcing traffic details at the time. My grandfathers 2002 Cadillac Deville has this option. I wouldn't be suprised it if works the same.
 

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The thing I don't understand is that all dedicated traffic stations that I've ever come across are on AM and the traf button only searches FM. I've tried it in Tucson, AZ and got nothing.
 

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It's kindof for the on-the-hour traffic update. So if you know stations on the FM band are giving traffic updates around that time of the hour and you press that button ( as long as a station is actualy broadcasting trafic at that exact time ) you should find a station or two on the FM band that are giving traffic or news. I am not sure if the station is required to be an RDS broadcasting station or not. I"ll test it out.. well.. i might.. i like my music and i use 511 for trafic info here in CA. If i remember, i'll check it out and post my results.
 

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Here in the UK the traffic announcement ssystem usually works by scanning all the preset FM stations and if the TA button is selected the current FM program is interupted with the Traffic Announcement. One the traffic news has finished the normal radio station resumes playing.

This is particulalry useful in larger cities. I am off on a 800 mile trip in my UK Prius T-Spirit (equates to #9 I guess) tomorrow and will have a chance to play with Audio features.
 

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I assume that the TRAF button on the 2004 acts the same way as on the classic Prius.

Typically, leaving the TRAF button on leads to more annoyances than it'll give you traffic reports. For example, you're listening to a cassette or CD, or just turn on the radio. Rather than returning to the FM station that you were last on, it goes to some station that you don't like (which usually isn't giving a traffic report).

I've only heard once of it actually working, and that report was from my mother (who has a 2002 Prius). For a few months, a FM radio station in her area (SE MA/SW RI) would actually provide traffic reports. She'd be listening to a cassette or usually a CD, and suddenly the music would stop, it would switch to this FM station, play the traffic report, and at the end of the traffic report it would go back to playing her music.
A few months later, they stopped issuing the traffic reports, and then she was stuck with the apparently random memory of last radio station issue (which I had to help her turn off the TRAF button to fix).
 
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