City of Houston, Mayor Annise Parker launch new 311 smartphone app

January 29, 2013 10:01:02 AM PST
Houston Mayor Annise Parker is rolling out a new smartphone app for the non-emergency 311 hotline. You use the hotline to request city services or report problems such as potholes, and today, it just got easier to do.

The city's new app launched this morning, and already people are downloading it. The city says it's their way of improving customer service.

The idea is it will help you report problems and issues faster to the call center and to the proper city department. For instance, you can submit requests for neighborhood problems like cracked sidewalks, or report potholes or remove dead animals, directly from your smartphone.

You can also tag specific locations and submit photos through the app.

The city of Houston launched 311 back in 2001 as a non-emergency telephone hotline. Mayor Parker was a city council member at the time. She says while it was innovative and cutting edge then, the city admittedly didn't keep up with technology. Now they're refocusing on it.

"More and more of what we can do, we can access through those smartphones. We now have the opportunity through a brand new app to allow those computer users out there -- who could already send us an email, who could already call us to report that neighborhood problem -- now they can do it on site in a few moments from their smartphone," Mayor Parker said.

You can contact the city 24/7 using this app.

The app is not yet available in Spanish, but they're working toward that for January 2014.

iPhone app download available here

Android app download available here

Visit the Houston311.org website for more information

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