Shortly after 10 a.m. today, Mayor Nutter took the first official call into the new 3-1-1 non-emergency call line, formally kicking off the long awaited service in Philadelphia -- and providing recycling information to a curious resident.
"We promised you at the begininning of this year that we'd have 3-1-1 up and running by the end of the year," Nutter said during a press conference. "Now all Philadelphians only need one number."
Nutter said all non-emergency calls -- whether it's an inquiry about your trash day or a request to fill a pothole -- should now be made to 3-1-1. The 3-1-1 service will be available 24 hours a day, seven days a week via telephone. Or citizens can use a walk-in center located in room 167 in City Hall.
"3-1-1 can even say God bless you," Nutter joked after someone sneezed.
The call center had a "soft start" back in October, when calls to the City Hall switchboard started getting transfered to 3-1-1. The center, staffed with 57 call-takers and seven supervisors, is currently fielding 3,500 calls per day, according to Call Center Director Rosetta Carrington Lue.
Managing Director Camille Barnett said the city spent about $1 million in start-up costs for the center, including software, consulting and training.