March 11, 2013City's Non-Emergency Hotline Has Received Nearly 160 Million Calls Since March 2003 and Transformed Delivery of City Services to New Yorkers
Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, Deputy Mayor for Operations Cas Holloway, Chief Information and Innovation Officer Rahul N. Merchant, Mayor’s Office of Operations Director Liz Weinstein and NYC311 Executive Director Joe Morrisroe today commemorated ten years of NYC311, the nation’s largest and most comprehensive government information and services center. Announced by Mayor Bloomberg in his 2002 State of the City Address and launched on March 9, 2003, NYC311 is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week in nearly 180 languages and now serves more than 60,000 customers filing 7,700 daily requests via phone, online and text message. Since its launch, NYC311 has received more than 158 million calls and has been a clearinghouse for all things New York City government, providing information on more than 4,000 topics, routing details to the appropriate City agencies and providing customers with service request numbers for use in tracking the progress of their inquiry. In doing so, NYC311 has helped increase the accessibility and responsiveness of City agencies, allowing them to better focus on the key public services they provide. In addition, NYC311 has served as a model for non-emergency government service delivery operations, hosting hundreds of delegations from dozens of countries and many major cities in the United States while they designed their own 311 operations. In honor of ten years of NYC311, the Empire State Building will be lit yellow tonight. Mayor Bloomberg marked the milestone at the NYC311 customer service center this morning in Lower Manhattan.
“For more than a decade, our Administration has worked to implement technology solutions that help make real differences for New Yorkers,” said Mayor Bloomberg. “For nearly all that time, NYC311 has been among the most successful examples of that work. I congratulate all the staff at NYC311 – from the front-line call takers to the support teams that ensure the information provided to the public is straightforward, accurate and concise – on their contribution to our city. Day or night, rain or shine, these dedicated men and women have answered the call of their fellow New Yorkers, and they continue to help us make New York City government more responsive and accountable.”
“NYC311 has revolutionized the way New Yorkers interact with City government and continually evolves to meet New Yorkers’ needs,” said Deputy Mayor for Operations Holloway. “Perhaps most impressive, through strong management, 311 has dramatically improved customer satisfaction even has its operations have had to adapt to do more with less – like all City agencies. Congratulations to 311 Executive Director Joe Morrisroe, Saadia Chaudhry, Director of Customer Management, and the entire NYC311 team on 10 great years; the next 10 will be even better.”
“I am honored to join Mayor Bloomberg in commemorating NYC311 on ten years of stellar service to the residents of the greatest city in the world,” said Chief Information and Innovation Officer Merchant. “When the Department of Information and Technology and Telecommunications built NYC311 more than ten years ago, we knew we were putting something special in place. To know that it stands today as the pre-eminent customer service center of its kind is a tribute to the Mayor’s vision, the tireless dedication of our front-line staff and the technological innovation that continues to make New York City a model for all others.”
“Customer service is at the heart of the work New York City agencies do daily,” said Liz Weinstein. “And the better job NYC311 does at providing information and ensuring requests are filed appropriately and efficiently, the better job those agencies can do in meeting – and exceeding – the expectations of New Yorkers. NYC311 is an integral part of making City services more efficient and accountable, and I congratulate all the staff here on a job well-done.”
“Over the past 10 years the story of NYC311 has really been the story of New Yorkers – both the New Yorkers who use it every day for things affecting their lives and the New Yorkers at 311 always ready to help and deliver the best customer care anywhere in the world,” said NYC311 Executive Director Morrisroe. “I am proud to be part of the NYC311 team and on behalf of all the men and women at 311 who consider it a privilege to help tens of thousands of their neighbors every day, I want to thank Mayor Bloomberg for his vision in creating 311 and his consistent support and enhancement of it to better serve New Yorkers.”
NYC311: By the Numbers
To date, NYC311 has received more than 158 million total calls since inception, 85 percent of which were answered in 30 seconds or less. The average speed of answer for all calls has been 22 seconds, with the average 311 call lasting 218 seconds or 3.6 minutes.
Visits to 311Online, launched in 2009, total nearly 7 million and more than 300,000 text sessions have been supported since 2011.
More people have used NYC311 in the last 10 years than attended every single home game of every New York pro sports team – and the U.S. Open – during those 10 years put together.
NYC311 Interactions: 2003-2012
Top 10 Calls to NYC311: 2003-2012
Service Group or Inquiry
# of Calls
% of All
Heat Complaint - Inadequate Heat
Bus and Subway Information
Landlord Maintenance Complaint
Find a Police Precinct or Police Service Area
Plan Examiner Appointment
Refuse/Freon Removal Scheduling
Garbage or Recycling Collection Inquiry
Parking Violation - Ticket Assistance
Service Request Status
Top 10 Calls to NYC311 by Agency: 2003-2012
# of Calls
% of All
Most Service Requests Filed with NYC311 by Borough: 2003-2012
# of SRs
% of Total
Estimated SRs / Person
311Online Annual Growth: 2009-2012
Average Per Day
NYC311 During Hurricane Sandy
Milestone Call Volume Days
NYC311 Call Center Representatives
Most Calls Taken – Twelve current NYC311 Call Center Representatives have handled more than 100,000 calls since the launch of the system.
Milestone Calls Taken – NYC311’s 50 millionth call was serviced by call center representative La’Net Holman on June 20, 2007 about how to open a day care center; its 100 millionth call was serviced by call center representative Sion Nathan on May 9, 2010 about a report of abandoned vehicle; its 150 millionth call was serviced by call center representative Martha Flores on November 2, 2012 about a request to remove a downed tree.
Comparison to other 311s in the United States
In 2011, NYC311 received more calls – 22.2 million – than the combined total of 26 other 311s call centers across the United States, including the nation’s largest other 311s: Chicago, Houston, San Francisco and Washington, D.C.
Hosting the World – Since its launch, NYC311 has hosted hundreds of delegations from dozens of countries spanning six continents, and most major United States cities, as a model for non-emergency government service delivery operations. Notable visits include delegations from Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Denmark, Great Britain, Germany, Kenya, Pakistan and South Africa. Visits typically consist of a presentation on the Administration’s commitment to customer service, NYC311 history and evolution, technology innovations and performance results, followed by a tour of the 311 call center. These delegations draw on NYC311's experience and insights – as the largest customer service center in the biggest city in the nation – on everything from technology to staffing, to business processes, to interagency coordination. In addition, cities such as San Francisco and Philadelphia spent considerable time in New York City while designing their own 311 operations.
Excellence in Customer Satisfaction – Customer satisfaction with NYC311 now surpasses even the highest-performing private-sector call centers, according to a survey conducted last year by CFI Group, Inc., an industry leader in gauging customer satisfaction as measured by the patented American Customer Satisfaction Index. The increase in 2012 to a total composite score of 84 – up two points from 2011 and five points from the baseline set in 2008 – is tied directly to the reduction in wait time to speak with a NYC311 call center representative. Additional key considerations driving this improvement include sustained high public satisfaction with NYC311’s representatives, a higher-than-ever percentage of caller issues being resolved to caller satisfaction and a reduction in the need for customers to make follow-up calls. TheNYC311 Customer Satisfaction Survey is the third conducted to gauge customer satisfaction with the system, with previous studies conducted in 2008 and 2011.
Excellence in Service Delivery – In June 2012, NYC311 was honored with a United Nations Public Service Award, among the most prestigious international citations for excellence in public service. Noted for enabling online self-service, access to 180 languages, availability to interactive tools and enhancing service delivery with a reduction in operating expenses, NYC311 was selected as the very best public organization across Europe and North America for improving the delivery of public services.
NYC311: Workforce Development
Today, 33 staff members remain from the day the NYC311 took its first call ten years ago, serving in a range of positions, including Call Center Representative, Call Center Supervisor, Call Center Manager, Staff Manager, Business Analyst and Director.
More than 125 NYC311 employees have been promoted to positions in other City agencies, and another 75 were promoted internally. Four former NYC311 employees have gone on to work for other 311s in San Francisco, Houston, Albuquerque and Hempstead.
First announced by Mayor Bloomberg on January 30, 2002, NYC311 consolidated more than 40 separate City call centers and hotlines – and 11 pages of government listings in the phone book – into one, easy-to-remember number. The new number enabled New Yorkers to access City government with only two phone numbers: 911 for emergencies and 311 for everything else. NYC311 can also be accessed from anywhere in the world by dialing (212) NEW-YORK.
In April 2008, NYC311 expanded from a resource for non-emergency government services to include comprehensive health and human services information and referral from City agencies, non-profit and community based organizations across the five boroughs.
In September 2008, NYC311 was one of the first government call centers in the nation to enable customers to submit picture and video submissions with their requests from desktop or mobile web browsers.
In June 2009, 311Online launched on NYC.gov, allowing users to access information, report problems, check the status of previously-filed inquiries and request City services.
Also in June 2009, NYC311 launched its own Skype and Twitter accounts. Through Skype – a software application that enables calls to be made over the Internet – people from around the world are able to call 311 for free. NYC311 also uses Twitter – @311NYC – to share information to more than 43,000 followers about Alternate Side Parking status, school closures and information about other citywide events.
In February 2011, NYC311 Reporting tool launched, providing an interactive site through which users can build their own reports about 311 requests filed citywide – as well as by borough, zip code and community board-level – and compare historical trends across time.
In May 2011, NYC311’s text messaging capability was launched, allowing customers to access City information and services by texting their questions through a designated short code: 311-NYC (311-692). Common inquiries – such as inadequate heat, snow removal requests, noise complaints and reports of downed trees can also be filed via text message.
In February 2011, the NYC311 Service Request Map was born, providing location and status information for 311 requests filed over the past year across 15 categories and more than 100 subcategories.
In October 2011, the raw data underlying millions of NYC311 Service Requests filed since 2004 were added to the NYC OpenData portal. This data is updated with thousands of new records daily.
Marc LaVorgna / Kamran Mumtaz
Nick Sbordone (NYC311)