Until March 1 three years ago, an Evanston resident had to make a wild guess as to which department they should call when a problem with a city service emerged. Now, they just dial 311.

When the service was launched on March 1, 2011, officials predicted a call volume of 150,000 a year, or 450,000 in three years, a figure they acknowledged to be optimistic, based upon usage statistics of other cities that have employed the system.

In other cities, 311 volume has been approximately 1.5 calls per 1,000 residents per year.

With a population of about 75,000, Evanston’s volume should have been about 337,500 for the first three years if we were “normal.”

The actual number turned out to be 390,000, which is less than the 450,000 predicted at the time of the opening, but still ahead of the number from comparable cities.

Some 66,000 service requests were created from those calls, the city reported.

“Since the implementation,” the city stated in a release, “we have launched live chat, 311text, Mobile 311, and a new 311 CRM system. We continue to grow and to add additional services to 311.”

Earlier story:

City launches 311 info service

Charles Bartling

A resident of Evanston since 1975, Chuck Bartling holds a master’s degree in journalism from Northwestern University and has extensive experience as a reporter and editor for daily newspapers, radio...

Leave a comment

The goal of our comment policy is to make the comments section a vibrant yet civil space. Treat each other with respect — even the people you disagree with. Whenever possible, provide links to credible documentary evidence to back up your factual claims.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *