Commuter Dude: Testing Atlanta's 311 system

ATLANTA – The director of Atlanta 311 says while the system has grown and improved over the years, it’s still not quite where he wants it.

Rocky Atkins, the city’s Director of Public Service, says awareness is still an issue.

“I still find a lot of people who don't know about 311,” says Atkins.

Commuter Dude Jerry Carnes spoke to people who contacted 311 about unfinished work on Dekalb Avenue that damaged Katie Powell’s car.

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“As soon as I got to work I looked under the car and I could see the bottom part hanging down,” says Powell.

Two days after Powell and others contacted 311, a city crew filled a deep rut with asphalt.

That's a vast improvement to the early days, when 311 left Commuter Dude on hold 15-minutes. That was three years ago.

Most calls are now answered within 20-seconds.

When the system first went on line, you could contact the city either through the ATL311 website, or by dialing 311 on your phone.

The system has now expanded with two social media sites. An ATL311 app is on the way later this year.

After someone contacts 311 about a pothole, water leak, or other issue, customer service agents pass the issue along to the city department that can address it.

Atkins says there are still times when 311 closes an issue before it’s resolved, making it appear the city isn’t addressing it. In actuality, the issue has been moved from one department to another. Atkins says changes are coming that will improve communication.

“We'll have more transparency, visibility, once we have the system in place in an April timeframe,” says Atkins.

ATL311 recently expanded its hours to 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.