After just six months of operation, more than 12,000 Edmontonians have downloaded the City’s 311 App and turned themselves into more alert, involved citizens.
The app is already the vehicle over which more than 3,400 reports of bylaw infractions, potholes, litter, fallen trees, and more, have been reported to 311 and sent along to the appropriate department for resolution.
“There are two great advantages to the app,” says Gary Dyck, Corporate Services’ senior communications advisor.
“People are far more likely to report something in the ‘heat of the moment’, especially if reporting is quick-and-easy.”
“And secondly, users can attach a geo-tagged photograph to their report so the City knows where the problem is.”
To date, the app enables citizens to report 28 service concerns related to:
- Winter and summer road and sidewalk maintenance (including pothole locations)
- Pooling water on the road
- Traffic and streetlights
But that’s not all, folks!
“Now that we have the app, and it’s working so well, we plan to add more features to it. Work is underway to add additional services and enhance two-way communication.”
When citizens report problems, a notice is sent back to them saying their matter has been submitted. The status of their reports are marked as open until the issues are resolved, then the reports are marked as closed. A further upgrade will deliver interim status reports to the 311 app user.
The app also provides links to City news releases and the City’s Twitter feed.
Gary says the 311 app hasn’t reduced caller traffic to 311, which still gets an average of 42,000 calls per week depending on all sorts of factors like the weather.
“What we’re getting is more reports, which means we’re connecting even more efficiently with citizens, and showing them that we’re a responsive, service-oriented City.”
The app is one of the projects the City introduced under the banner of Open City, an initiative to open new channels of information flow between citizens and the City.
The app was a joint project between Corporate Services’ 311 service and the IT Branch.