City launches smart phone app

Gordon Bruce, Director of the Department of Information Technology
Gordon Bruce, Director of the Department of Information Technology
Mayor Peter Carlisle
Mayor Peter Carlisle

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) – People on Oahu can now use a new smart phone app to request services from the City and County of Honolulu. "Honolulu 311," which was launched Tuesday, is supposed to save the city time and money while processing requests for services.

The app is free to download and is compatible with iPhone, Android, Windows Mobile, and Blackberry. To find it, go to your smart phone service provider's app store or app market and search for "Honolulu 311."

Once loaded on their phone, a person wanting to report an abandoned vehicle can simply snap a picture of the vehicle and send it to the city. The photo arrives with coordinates indicating where it was taken which makes it easier for the appropriate city crew to respond.

"It makes a nice report for us. It shows us your picture, and using our current GIS maps it'll actually show us the nearest address. It bundles all that up and it sends that to our Customer Services division and they'll look at it, and in this case of an abandoned vehicle, they'll create an internal email and send it to the appropriate agency who will respond," said Forest Frizzell, Deputy Director of the city's Department of Information Technology.

The app is designed to handle reports of seven specific issues. They include derelict vehicles, broken street lights, illegal dump sites, private possessions stored on public property, dilapidated sidewalks, overgrown trees, and vandalized or broken street signs.

The city is developing more apps including an app that will make it easy for people with smart phones to report the location of pot holes.

Gordon Bruce, Director of the Department of Information Technology, said it will cost the city about $12,000 a year to operate "Honolulu 311" but the city will save money in the long run. He said Customer Services representatives can forward requests to the appropriate departments faster when using the new app system and work crews can find trouble spots faster and easier than before.

"We take the phone calls. Those cost us in the neighborhood of $6 every time we get a call. This (the new app) is in the form of pennies ... like in the form of pennies to come in this way. So the more we can get in this way, the more the city is going to save," Bruce said.

To learn more about the new "Honolulu 311" app click on the link below.

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