Mayor Celebrates 20th Anniversary of 311

An image from the front page of the 311 website, where New Yorkers can seek out information and request services. The platform has been contacted over 525 million times since its launch in 2003. Image Credit: NYC 311.

On March 9, 2023, Mayor Eric Adams celebrated the 20th anniversary of the launch of 311, the city’s platform for New Yorkers to seek assistance and information. The service launched in March 2003 and has taken over 525 million contacts via phone, texts, social media, chat support, and website and mobile app submissions. The City has released a State of 311 Report to mark the milestone, which can be read here

The 311 platform allows New Yorkers to report issues with noise, heat or hot water, rodents, illegal parking, potholes, damaged street signs, sidewalk repairs, snow conditions, and restaurants among other issues. New Yorkers can check the status of alternate side parking, trash and recycling collections, and school openings. The platform provides information and services for over 200 agencies and nonprofits, and provides support in 175 languages.

When the system was first launched in 2003, over 4.5 million contacts were made to the system, and the top inquiries were for freon removal from large appliances, parking tickets, and noise, heat, and apartment maintenance complaints. By 2013, the number of contacts was up to over 21.7 million. In 2022, the number of contacts was just over 35 million. In 2022, the top service requests were still noise, heat and apartment maintenance complaints, but also included illegal parking and blocked driveway requests. 

The 311 mobile app, launched in 2009, has been downloaded over 1.1 million times. Contacts to 311 have historically peaked in significant storms like blizzards and hurricanes, but also included significant events like the MTA strike of 2005, the launch of IDNYC in 2014, and at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. The record peak for contacts was during the historic Christmas-time blizzard of 2010, where parts of the city received between 20 to 30 inches of snow. 

While the 311 system has been used to address many common issues New Yorkers deal with on a daily basis, occasionally the service has received more unusual requests. The report also highlighted a few of the most memorable contacts to 311 over the years including: 

  • “I’d like to file a noise complaint against my refrigerator.” (2004)
  • “Can I claim my dog as a dependent on my taxes?” (2006)
  • “Is there a law limiting how many times you can flush the toilet?” 
  • “A raccoon is eating lasagna on my porch.” (2014)

A video in which Mayor Adams reads some more of the highlights can be found on the Mayor’s Office YouTube channel here.

New Yorkers can call 311, text 311-692, visit its website, download the mobile app for Android or iOS, and connect over social media on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

Mayor Adams stated, “Since its launch two decades ago, NYC311 has become an indispensable resource for New Yorkers looking to make a noise complaint, report a cleanliness issue, learn whether alternate side parking is in effect, and so much more. Responding to 525 million contacts is a testament to the thousands of public servants who literally respond to the call of service each and every day. From day one, our administration has been focused on improving the customer experience to make city services more equitable and accessible for New Yorkers, and we are grateful for the critical role NYC311 has played in this effort.”

By: Veronica Rose (Veronica is the CityLaw fellow and a New York Law School graduate, Class of 2018.)

Mayor’s Office: Mayor Adams Celebrates 20 Years of NYC311 with Release of State of 311 Report (March 9, 2023).



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