Huge amounts of snow combined with unseasonably warm weather have resulted in a record number of calls placed to The City of Calgary’s 311 Call Centre. Yesterday, 8,793 telephone calls were placed to the system. Call volumes averaged 100 each 15 minutes, peaking at 200 each 15 minutes later in the day. Wait times to speak to an operator were up to as long as 45 minutes, but averaged half an hour. On a normal day, the 311 Call centre receives about 1,200 calls per day.
To help alleviate this crunch, a dedicated “snow page” has been created on our website (www.calgary.ca/snow) with quick links to access the online Service Request page including roads, public sidewalks, pathways, walkways and transit platforms. Additionally, the 311 Calgary Mobile Application is available for download to submit snow and ice concerns as well as concerns related to pathways. All of these options can also be found at www.calgary.ca/311.
“By using the online system or the app, you’re populating our database immediately with that critical information, but also saving yourself a lengthy wait on the phone,” explains Sean Somers, with The City’s of Calgary’s Transportation Department. “Most people don’t realize that citizens are using the exact same intake system that the 311 agents would be using had they called 311 to request it.”
In other words, regardless of the intake method, (call, submit your concern online or use the mobile application to send us information), the information is treated in the exact same way as if you had called 311 directly.
This has been an exceptional winter, and The City continues to respond in an exceptional way. Today, 206 hired pieces of equipment are out working in addition to The City’s compliment of heavy machinery. Operations have outlined a four week plan, and we are approximately 35 percent through that plan.
We understand frustrations are running high. Please be patient, understanding and most importantly, kind and courteous to both 311 operators and crews working in the streets. They’re just trying to get a job done.
We thank Calgarians for their patience as we continue to work through this unprecedented winter.
This content represents the personal views and opinions of the Ward Councillor and should not be taken as a statement of policy of The City of Calgary. The inclusion of any external content does not imply endorsement by The City of Calgary.