Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, New York City’s 311 call center has answered a record-setting 23.5 million calls in 2020. Mayor Bill de Blasio’s office said the call count, which is the highest in the center’s 18-year history, was due to the unprecedented need for essential services and information.

“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,” Mayor de Blasio said. “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.”

The 311 call center, which is managed by the Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications (DoITT), provided information to New Yorkers seeking access to meals, healthcare, testing, and remote learning devices, among other city services. Despite the spike in calls, the 311 call center decreased the average customer wait time to 33 seconds.

“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 the 24/7 call center, DoITT provides services via a website, a mobile app, and social media, and texting.

“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.”

Read More About
Kate Polit
Kate Polit
Kate Polit is MeriTalk SLG's Assistant Copy & Production Editor, covering Cybersecurity, Education, Homeland Security, Veterans Affairs