Sunday, April 26, 2015

To Your Rescue: Philly311 Mobile App Launches

Got a complaint you need to share with the city? Now you can do it through an app on iPhone, Android mobile or Blackberry communicator.

To Your Rescue: Philly311 Mobile App Launches


Got a complaint you need to share with the city? Now  you can do it through an app on your iPhone, Android mobile or Blackberry.

 Launched today, this online version of the Philly 311 hotline lets you act instantly when you spot something that needs to be fixed – like a city block with no streetlights, downed trees or abandoned cars. The app makes it easy to submit a request for help and to attach a photo to verify the issue. The complaint  automatically is funneled to the right city agency. You then get notified when the request is completed.

Wondering if others in your neighborhood are experiencing the same issue – say stinky sewer smells?  You can monitor nearby requests and add comments. The software, developed by PublicStuff,  aggregates  complaints for faster response.

“The Philly311 mobile application is the latest step toward a smart, responsive 21st Century municipal government by ensuring that Philadelphians can quickly and effectively communicate their needs to city government,” said Mayor Michael Nutter this morning. “This App will bring city services to citizens’ fingertips and will continue the transformation of government into a nimble customer-service organization.”

So new the free app didn’t come up at first in the Apple App Store, we got it going on our iPhone by visiting the online portal  then clicking on the icon for the appropriate operating system.

That website also lets you report an issue and view requests there and then and offers a “What’s Hot Right Now” listing of the top ten service complaints.

While not nearly as funny as David Letterman’s nightly Top Ten list, here they are: 10. Street trees maintenance and removal;  9.Clogged main drains and yard drains; 8. Sanitation violations; 7. Missed rubbish collection; 6. Illegal dumping; 5. Vacant house; 4. Abandoned automobile; 3. Street lamp outage; 2. Vacant lot clean up. And this week’s  number one request for service . . .  Code violations (interior or exterior) of residential buildings!


Inquirer Columnist
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Jonathan Takiff covers all manner of high tech gadgets – and the entertaining stuff you play on them.. Reach Jonathan at

Jonathan Takiff Inquirer Columnist
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