After over a decade in operation, Mayor Michelle Wu announced Tuesday that Boston is launching a new version of its 311 mobile app. In addition to English, the new app will allow users to submit service requests in 10 additional languages and incorporates an easier to navigate user experience.
Boston 311 is a 24-hour service that works with city departments to fulfil non-emergency service requests in the city, including filling potholes, park maintenance, picking up litter and parking enforcement. It was launched in 2009 and has seen residents submit 1.1 million requests in that time. More than 50% of all requests submitted by residents are via the Boston 311 mobile app.
"Tackling the big challenges our city faces starts with addressing the daily constituent issues that our residents experience across Boston’s neighborhoods," Wu said in a statement. “The 311 app helps instantly alert City teams to neighborhood issues, and now that it is available in 11 languages, the app is more accessible and easy to use than ever before. I want to thank all the City departments who worked on this upgrade, and encourage all residents to use it where needed.”
The new Boston 311 app, which is now available for download, enables users to submit service requests in 11 languages — English, Spanish, Haitian Creole, Traditional Chinese, Simplified Chinese, Vietnamese, Russian, Cape Verdean Creole, Arabic, Brazilian Portuguese, and French. These are the top 11 most common languages in Boston. The old version of the app only included an English language option.
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The updated app also incorporates design recommendations based on a six-week user research study, conducted by the Mayor's Office of New Urban Mechanics. Thirty-one residents from seven neighborhoods were interviewed, and byy listening to their feedback, the city was able to identify key usability concerns and create a more accessible app.
Additionally, users can now view the status of city services, a section that was previously only available on the Boston.gov homepage. Constituents can also now submit multiple photos as part of their service request.
The city's Community Engagement Cabinet will be hosting a 311 app training session on Friday, Oct. 7, from 3 to 6 p.m., at the Bruce Bolling Building at 2300 Washington St., in Roxbury, to help residents learn how to use the app and what kinds of service requests it should be used for.
“The 311 app is a crucial tool for connecting with our constituents, but it only works if residents know how to properly use it,” Chief of Community Engagement Brianna Millor said. “The expansion of language options in the app and the upcoming City-run training are critical to ensuring residents can effectively use City services. Together we can use the experiences of our constituents to fix problems and create a Boston for everyone.”