311 handles life calls every dayfrom 12 million residents in New York City, which include falling trees, blocked driveway,derelict vehicles and any cases which are not handled by the 911 emergency line, fire departmentand the ambulance. According to statistics, 311 has successfully handled 90% of cases.
6 o’clock in a Sunday evening, an operator of New York City’s non-emergency telephone number 3-1-1 received a phone call from a China tourist. “Hello… I’m a tourist…I heard that 311 can solve my problem. I’m at Manhattan Street 43… my handbag has just dropped into an air vent in the subway and there’re many important stuff in it including my passport. Could you please help me?” The tourist speaks stutteringly. The China tourist was been transferred to a Chinese operator. After getting to know the situation, the Chinese operator reassured the tourist that she will do her best to locate the lost item. She tracked the location and said that she will call back in 10 minutes. 10 minutes later, the tourist received a phone call from the operator. “Sorry to have kept you waiting, as the air vent could have belonged to two different units, which could be the railway or the sewer unit, we will arrange the sewer technicians to investigate at the location tomorrow morning. Can you meet them at 8 o’clock in the morning?” . 8am sharp the next day, two sewer technicians arrived at the subway. After 15 minutes of investigation, they confirmed that the drainage wasn’t belonged to the sewer unit and reported to 311. Immediately, the Chinese Operator contacted the railway station for help. 30 minutes later, the railway technicians arrived and started searching. Finally, they found it in the drainage and it was in good condition. The bag was then returned to the tourist.
This is only one of the tasks achieved by the Chinese operator. 311 handles life calls every day from 12 million residents in New York City, which include falling trees, blocked driveway, derelict vehicles and any cases which are not handled by the 911 emergency line, fire department and the ambulance. According to statistics, 311 has successfully handled 90% of cases.
311 hotline is implemented by Michael R. Bloomberg, Mayor of New York City since 2002.The 911 terrorist attack in 2001 has caused fear and terror in the people of the city and by implementing the 311 hotline, Mayor Bloomberg hopes to rebuild the city and the morale of its people.
With a total of 1500 live operators of 30 different nationalities, 311 provides services in over 40 languages and operates in 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. The operating cost of 311 service helpline is taken from a fund raised by Mayor Bloomberg himself. New York City has a great mayor and a great service helpline. Come to think of that, what has the mayor of Kuala Lumpur has done for the city?
Travelution 2011 January/February Issue