History (January 2002 - March 2004)
In January 2002, Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced plans for the creation of a 311 Citizen Service Center. Such a center was to be developed in order to make New York City government more accessible to its constituents by enabling people to request and receive information and City government services by calling one simple number. Since the Mayor's announcement, the Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications (DoITT) has designed a customer-service based 311 Citizen Service Center.
The first publicly visible phase of 311 customer service began in October 2002 when hotline staff of the Department of Housing Preservation and Development were transferred to the main 311 Call Center in Lower Manhattan. In December 2002, call-takers were trained and prepared to respond to residents in the instance that a transit strike occurred. On February 27, 2003 the NYPD was phased into 311 when it transferred various quality of life hotlines. On Sunday, March 9, 2003, the 311 phone line was activated.
In the first year, 311 received over 8 million calls. As of November 2004, the average number of calls per day was about 40,000 calls, with an average service level of about 26 seconds. Our record number of calls per day is currently 111,000 calls, in response to the flu vaccine availability and the STAR tax rebate.