City of Tuscaloosa Celebrates 311's 10th Anniversary
June 6, 2017
The City of Tuscaloosa launched its 311 Call Center 10 years ago today, June 6, 2007.
311 is a single, three-digit phone number that can be dialed from anywhere in the Tuscaloosa city limits. This number can be used for all non-emergency inquiries on City services and information. Callers may report potholes, broken streetlights and get information about permits or licenses. 311 staff will connect callers with the proper person or resource or create service requests for appropriate city staff to handle.
“From day one I wanted our government to be as transparent, accessible and efficient as possible,” said Tuscaloosa Mayor Walt Maddox, who spearheaded the creation of 311 after he was first elected mayor in 2005. “311 was the first of many open government initiatives we have done in the past 10 years, and I am truly proud with how this team has stepped up to meet the needs of our citizens.”
This call center makes non-emergency information and services more easily accessible and understood. In 2012, an app for 311 was launched which made this service accessible on smart phones and includes a 311 knowledge base for common questions and answers.
Since its implementation 10 years ago, 311 staff members have handled an estimated 1.2 million calls, with over 120,000 from May 2016 to May 2017, and an estimated 270,000 service requests. Service requests initiate the process to handle inquiries that require action on the City’s part, such as filling a pothole. The most common types of service requests from the past year involve overgrown grass, code violations, broken water meters and cart repairs.
Overall, the 311 Call Center has allowed the City of Tuscaloosa to better fulfill Maddox’s core value of being open, efficient and effective by making information more available to citizens.
Tuscaloosa 311 will close at 5 p.m. Tuesday, June 13. Its normal hours of operation are Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.