Washington, DC – Mayor Adrian M. Fenty and Director of the Office of Unified Communications Director Janice Quintana celebrated the answering of over one million calls to the 311 call center in 2008 by personally answering some calls. 311 is the 24 hour, 365 day-a-year number to reach the government of the District of Columbia for information and non-emergency services. Launched in January, the number follows the best practices of other major cities such as New York, Chicago and San Francisco.
“Having one number for the government has created one-stop shopping for all of our residents,” said Fenty. “Our residents are clearly taking advantage of having this convenient way to get in touch with their government.”
Of the million calls received by 311 in 2008, 85 percent were answered in 30 seconds or less. In 2007, 929,000 calls were made to the 727-1000, the original seven-digit hotline for reaching the District. The 311 call center is now on track to handle more than 2.5 million calls in 2008. Service requests for the District Department of Transportation and the Department of Public Works make up about 30 percent of the calls to 311. The most requested services are parking meters repairs, bulk trash collection and parking enforcement. All other calls to 311 are requesting general information
“Bringing all of our call centers together has allowed us to better serve and inform the residents of the District,” said Quintana. “The numbers speak for themselves – residents know that if you need to reach the District of Columbia, there is no better number than 311.”
The transition from 727-1000 to 311 has also allowed 911 call takers to focus on emergency calls. About 100,000 calls have been redistributed to 311 from 911 since January. 911 is projected to have 300,000 fewer calls in 2008 than were made in 2007 allowing 911 call takers to exceed national standards by answering 95 percent of calls in five seconds or less.