Providence launches hotline, mobile app for city service requests

Mayor Jorge Elorza announces the city's new service hotline and mobile app. (Photo by Steph Machado/WPRI 12)

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – If you’re trying to get a pothole repaired or your street plowed in Providence, Mayor Jorge Elorza has a message for you: there’s an app for that.

Elorza announced Tuesday the city has launched a new mobile application designed to assist residents with requests for city services as well as a hotline that connects directly to the mayor’s center for city services on the first floor in City Hall.

The hotline number is 3-1-1 and the mobile app is called PVD311. The app replaces ProvConnex, which Elorza called “very clunky.”

“We are making it easier than ever for residents to connect with City Hall and request municipal services,” Elorza said in a statement. “The 3-1-1 line and PVD311 mobile app are results of our efforts to make local government more open, accountable, and responsive. Whether you need to report a pothole or request trash pickup, I encourage residents to utilize these new tools.”

The app and the hotline are the latest tools the city is using to improve constituent response times; since Elorza took office, he claims to have cleared a backlog of thousands of requests or complaints from across the city.

Every time a constituent calls in with a complaint, Elorza requires his staff to open a case file and guarantee that the person will receive a return phone call to update them on how their problem is being addressed.

When he entered office in January, Elorza said the city faced a backload of more than 3,000 complaints from city residents. He said the entire caseload has now been closed and his office responded to another 5,000 calls during his first seven months in City Hall.

Elorza said residents who call 3-1-1 from their landline or on their mobile phone during business hours will speak with a representative in City Hall. During non-business hours, messages can be left. The app is available through the Apple App Store or on Google Play.

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Dan McGowan ( dmcgowan@wpri.com ) covers politics, education and the city of Providence for WPRI.com. Follow him on Facebook and Twitter: @danmcgowan

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