Also 3-1-1


Pittsburgh Launches 311 SystemEdit

Oct 24, 2006 News Release Pittsburgh Mayor Luke Ravenstahl this morning launched the Ravenstahl Response Line -- 311, a central one call system for all non-emergency city service requests.

Beginning today, City of Pittsburgh residents can access city services more quickly and easily than ever before. All services -- from obtaining a phone number for a city department, to reporting a pothole or broken street light -- are now just three numbers away. Residents will reach a service representative from the Ravenstahl Response Center when they dial the 3-1-1 from anywhere in the city. There is also a 311 Form on the City of Pittsburgh Web site where questions and concerns can be submitted.

"Through 311, we're making government more customer focused, friendly and easier to use," said Ravenstahl. "The Ravenstahl Response line is all about better customer service and one call resolution. It's as easy as 311. It's a benefit for the residents and employees of the city."

"Our friendly and courteous staff will take the information and enter it into our database, where it will be directed to the proper department," said Wendy Urbanic, Response Center coordinator. "Service requests should be acknowledged by the department within 24 hours."

"The 311 system allows for increased efficiency -- city departments can spend more time doing the work and less time answering phones," said Ravenstahl. "It is also a great way to track accountability within the departments. The database will enable us to see how quickly requests are resolved and gives the city better tracking capability."

The Mayor also unveiled a new billboard that will be up throughout the city to make residents more aware of the service, and they will also soon be receiving a postcard in the mail announcing the Response Line with Frequently Asked Questions on the flip side, further explaining 311, when to use it and hours of operation.

Said Ravenstahl, "Think of it this way: Burning building? Call 911. Burning question? Call 311."


The 311 service includes a telephone hot line created for non-emergency calls.

Many of the first one thousand calls came from residents complaining about vagrants living in abandoned homes and overgrown vacant lots.

"I think you'll see that as the residents of the city become more aware of it, the call volume will increase," Ravenstahl said.

Staffed by three operators and a supervisor, the hot line is open 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on weekdays.

  • Costs city about $150,000 annually.
  • Cell phones cannot call the hot line, but city officials expect that to be fixed by year's end.
    • Cingular Wireless demanded a $1,500 one-time set up fee; other wireless operators did not request a fee, said Howard Stern, the city's information systems director.



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