A city-wide 311 system for non-emergency calls, long discussed and one of Mayor Nutter's priorities, goes into operation today. The concept is you call one number to get connected to the right city department. It will also reduce calls to the city's emergency only 911 number.

Here's the press release. We'll be covering the launch. Come back later for more details. The official announcement takes place at 10 a.m. today.

The City of Philadelphia will begin operation of the 311 system on December 31, 2008. Starting then, 311 will be the only number necessary to find out information or to access a Philadelphia City service.

311 can be reached via the telephone 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year or via the walk-in centered located in Room 169 of City Hall during normal business hours. 311 will be a free service available to anyone who needs to know more about Philadelphia, City services, or general information. Residents, businesses, and visitors are all encouraged to call.

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