NEW YORK—New York City’s 3-1-1 call center turned 10 on March 11. Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who spearheaded the creation of the center in 2002, joined call center staff in Lower Manhattan to celebrate the milestone.
The center has handled over 150 million calls, since opening in 2003. The 3-1-1 website opened in 2009 and has recorded over 6 million visits to date.
“For more than a decade, our administration has worked to implement technology solutions that help make real differences for New Yorkers,” Mayor Bloomberg stated in a press release. “For nearly all that time, NYC311 has been among the most successful examples of that work.”
When it was opened in 2003, the 3-1-1 call center brought together 40 separate city agency call centers, giving New Yorkers one simple number to dial. 3-1-1 receives all non-emergency inquiries and complaints in New York City. Call takers can answer questions on over 4,000 topics, according to the press release, helping callers by routing them to appropriate agencies, filing complaints, or providing information.
Noise complaints are the most popular reason people call 3-1-1, with nearly 2.6 million calls lodged over the past 10 years. Heat and landlord complaints are also among the top 10 as well, along with calls for bus and subway information, plan examiner appointments, and others.
The call center received an average of 190,000 calls per day over a seven-day period during Superstorm Sandy, peaking at 274,000 calls in a single day. The center’s busiest day was recorded on January 27, 2011 during the infamous snowstorm.
New York City’s 3-1-1 received 22.2 million more calls than all of the other 3-1-1 call centers nationwide combined. That figure includes the nation’s largest 3-1-1 call centers in Chicago, Houston, San Francisco and Washington, D.C. Despite its size the center excels in service, scoring 15 points above the federal average for call centers, and nine points above the private sector average.