Providence launching 3-1-1 hotline, mobile app

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — City leaders announced a new hotline and mobile app they said would make it easier for residents to reach out for city services.

Mayor Jorge Elorza , flanked by other city officials, rolled out the 3-1-1 hotline and PVD311 mobile app Tuesday during an event at city hall.

“The 3-1-1 line and PVD311 mobile app are results of our efforts to make local government more open, accountable, and responsive. Whether you need to report a pothole or request trash pickup, I encourage residents to utilize these new tools,” Elorza said.

Residents can call 3-1-1 and speak with someone on the phone. The PVD311 app – which replaces ProvConnex – is said to offer a simple user-friendly interface and access to a range of city and state services. The mayor’s office said residents will be able to create a personal profile, submit a variety of service requests, pay bills, view the latest in city schedules and news, and receive updates directly on their mobile device.

As for the old app, Elorza said it wasn’t user-friendly enough.

“It was only in one language. But really it was very clunky. So Functionally, when you pressed the buttons, it didn’t always work. It was very confusing,” Elorza said. “What we did with this app, it’s much more intuitive. We’re looking at it from the perspective of a user.”

Elorza’s office said the contract with the company that made the old app expired. After putting out a bid for a new one, the city selected the company “Public Stuff” to develop PVD311.

Elorza said the new app will cost the same as the old one, but will hopefully work better.

“The idea is to make it as streamlined and as simple from the user’s perspective. So all they know is that the issue is getting addressed. We’ll handle all the hard work of actually getting it done,” Elorza said.

So what are the most reported complaints?

The mayor said in winter, it’s snow removal. In the spring, it’s potholes.