Need a pothole fixed? Tree fall on your lawn? Vancouver has a number for you.
The city’s new 3-1-1 service, which became active yesterday, allows residents to call a single number for all non-emergency municipal services, instead of fumbling through the city’s 550 phone numbers.
“It will transform the way the public does business with city hall,” said Coun. Suzanne Anton, a proponent of the system, an initiative of the former NPA-dominated council.
“Any person will be able to phone city hall at any time and in any language and get an answer to their question as it relates to city business.”
Similar systems have been implemented in a number of American and Canadian cities, including New York and Calgary.
Currently, 3-1-1 is still in a pilot phase to allow the city time to iron out kinks and ensure the systems and technology work properly.
In mid September, the service will move to 24 hours a day, seven days a week and have access to translators in 170 different languages.
Its launch will be accompanied by a public relations campaign to explain the service and to ensure that people still call 9-1-1 for emergencies.