Weekly Wonder: Boston 311 service requests, 2013-18

By Sara Amell Nariño
BU News Service

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BOSTON – From 2013-18, a majority of the service requests made to the City of Boston’s 311 system have been assigned to the city’s Public Works Department. The 311 system assigned the Public Works Department 498,929 cases, or 65% of all requests, ranging from fixing potholes to bulk trash pickup. Boston’s 311 Constituent Service Center is the city’s help center that takes requests for non-emergency city services and information.

A person can contact 311 by dialing 311 from their phone, using the BOS:311 mobile app, formerly known as Citizens Connect, or tweeting to @Bos311. The most common way people contact 311 is by phone, at 48% of the time, while Twitter is the least popular mode of contact, making up less than 1% of the way people contact the service center. Of Boston’s 23 neighborhoods, Dorchester has the highest percentage of 311 requests, at 15%.

After the BOS:311 app was launched in 2009, the city found that there were a number of city employees who were submitting service requests. The city, therefore, made a separate 311 app for city employees, called the City Worker App.

There is also a category of service requests called “employee generated,” which are requests made by city employees on behalf of constituents, such as if a Boston City Council member wanted to create a service request on behalf of one of their constituents and receive updates on the request they submitted.

The data was found through the City of Boston’s website and sourced from the city’s Constituent Relationship Management system. Please click here to preview and download the 311 service request data.


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