Mayor Mike Bloomberg announced plans to provide mass transit information via the city’s 311 system while touring a Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications call center last Thursday.
The plan would consolidate as many as 60 MTA phone numbers — currently used to disseminate information on the agency’s buses, trains and subway lines — under the city’s all-encompassing government service line.
“Because 311 is a simple, easy-to-remember number that New Yorkers are used to calling — in fact some 50,000 people dial it each day — it has enormous potential to improve customer service for our mass transit riders,” Bloomberg said during his weekend radio address.
Citing more than 370,000 MTA-related calls fielded and rerouted by 311 representatives every year, Bloomberg said the changes could save money for New Yorkers and help the MTA better assist its customers, who currently must browse through a list of 60 “Useful Phone Numbers” to reach the correct line for various transit related inquiries.
“The MTA must make it easier for our customers to access the information they need to navigate our transportation network,” MTA Chairman Jay Walder said. “Maintaining so many different numbers is confusing to riders and not the most cost-effective solution.”
Approximately 60 percent of 311’s MTA-related callers sought information on buses and subways, according to the DOITT, which manages 311.
Established in 2002, 311 has taken nearly 90 million calls since its inception. The government service line offers assistance on everything from parking rules to public officials. The system was expanded last month to include information on the city’s public schools.
Callers can access 311 outside the city by dialing 1 (212) NEWYORK (639-9675) or online at nyc.gov/311.