Mayor Bill de Blasio today announced that the City’s 311 call center handled a record 23.5 million calls this year — the highest volume in 311’s nearly 18 years of operation. The spike was driven by New Yorkers’ need for essential services and life-saving information during the COVID-19 pandemic.
At the height of the pandemic, 311 became a lifeline for New Yorkers seeking access to meals, healthcare, testing, remote learning devices, and more. Hundreds of call center representatives remained on-site to serve their fellow New Yorkers in need. These essential workers are among the unsung heroes of the pandemic.
“When New Yorkers need assistance with finding food, testing, remote learning devices and more, they turn to 311,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “It’s hard to imagine a more difficult time than 2020, but think for a moment how lost we would be without the essential workers at 311. Even if you didn’t have the need to pick up the phone and call them this year, take a moment to offer your thanks and solidarity to these humble and dedicated public servants. Our city is stronger because of them.”
This year’s call volume shatters previous records of approximately 21 million calls in 2015 and 22 million calls in 2011, and represents a 20 percent increase over 2019 call volumes. And despite the unprecedented demand, the 311 team has driven down average customer wait times to approximately 33 seconds.
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“This year, New Yorkers turned to 311 more than ever before to navigate City services,” said First Deputy Mayor Dean Fuleihan.”Thanks to the hard work of many public servants, 311 represents government accessibility at its best. I commend Commissioner Tisch and everyone at 311 for a job well done during this challenging year.”
“311 is a service every single New Yorker can rely on, especially as we continue to respond to COVID-19,” said Deputy Mayor Laura Anglin. “Whether a New Yorker is looking to get information on food resources, testing, or learn about alternate side parking, 311 is always there to help. I thank Commissioner Tisch and her staff for their extraordinary work during these trying times.”
“Even at a time of record call volumes, the team’s data-driven approach allowed us to deliver the same high-quality customer service that New Yorkers have come to expect out of 311,” said DoITT Commissioner and Citywide Chief Information Officer Jessica Tisch. “I especially want to thank our dedicated call center representatives for their unwavering commitment to the people of New York City.”
In addition to optimizing operations to address the increase in calls during the pandemic, 311 has remained a trusted source for everyday information such as alternate-side parking, trash collections, and school closures.
NYC 311 is available 24/7, 365 days a year in nearly 180 languages through the call center, online, a mobile app, social media, and by texting 311-NYC (692). NYC 311 can also be reached through video relay service at 212-NEW-YORK (639-9675) and through TTY at 212-504-4115.