Improved 311 service launching March 1 in Tuscaloosa

Published: Feb. 28, 2023 at 4:50 PM CST
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TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (WBRC) - A newer version of the 311 call line makes its debut in Tuscaloosa Wednesday, so that means you’re hours away from new help.

Call center officials say they’ve installed new software along with a new smartphone app.

Officials say this was necessary because we all live in a cell phone society and they tell us it was time to streamline and simplify.

311 Representative Katie Meggs says the time had come to upgrade the 311 system, one she looks forward to because it’ll not only make her job a little easier but more user-friendly for the person utilizing the three digit service.

“It’ll make it simple for the citizens of Tuscaloosa to report information or problems they are having,” said Meggs.

311 has been around since 2006 in Tuscaloosa. The idea at the time was to encourage residents if they see a pot hole or water leak to call 311, the non-emergency line and leave the 911 emergency number for legitimate emergencies.

With an average of 400 calls per week, the system has worked well, according to Portia McBride, but will work even better and smoother with the software upgrades including the new smartphone app.

“There’s nothing wrong with our current system, but we’re happy we’re able to streamline the mobile app particularly because we’ll cut down our request categories from 66 to 22, so it keeps you from having to scroll a lot to find what you need,” said 311 Call Center Manager Portia McBride.

The new and much-improved 311 system will make its debut March 1.

“It’s more organized,” said Meggs. She said call center representatives like her are ready to give it a whirl first thing Wednesday morning.

“It’s more organized. We’ll know where to send it to to each department,” she said.

Portia McBride says the last upgrades were done about three years ago, but doesn’t foresee anymore changes anytime soon because she sees the new software as the ‘Cadillac’ version of the upgrades for 311.

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