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Boston expands non-emergency 311 app to include 11 languages

Boston 311 is “more accessible and easy to use than ever before,” Mayor Michelle Wu said.

Boston 02/26/2022 A flock of pigeons takes flight in Boston City Hall Plaza. John Tlumacki/Globe Staff (metro) John Tlumacki / Boston Globe

Boston has launched a new version of its Boston 311 mobile app, allowing users to submit non-emergency requests in 11 languages as part of the city’s efforts to make its services more accessible, Mayor Michelle Wu’s office announced Tuesday. 

“Our goal at the City of Boston is to put our residents’ needs at the forefront of our work, and to use their feedback and input to continually improve how we’re delivering services online,” Julia Gutierrez, the city’s chief digital officer, said in a news release.

Gutierrez added: “By providing our 311 app in the City’s top 11 languages, we hope to empower members of our communities who may not have otherwise interacted with the City.” 

What is Boston 311?

Launched in 2009, Boston 311 is a 24-hour service that spans a 3-1-1 hotline, mobile app, and online website, according to the news release. Using Boston 311, residents can flag non-emergency issues such as potholes, parking enforcement, and park maintenance. In the past 13 years, users have submitted 1.1 million requests through the app, according to the mayor’s office.

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Previously, the app only included an English option. Users can now submit service requests in 10 additional languages, from Spanish to Haitian Creole and Vietnamese, among others. The updated version also includes new design features.

With these changes, Boston 311 is “more accessible and easy to use than ever before,” Wu said in the release. 

Boston Little Saigon board president Annie Le added that the language additions “open the City’s resources and lines of communication to ALL of Boston’s residents, making it easier for residents to access information and communicate their needs.”

How to download the app

“The 311 app is a crucial tool for connecting with our constituents, but it only works if residents know how to properly use it,” Boston Chief of Community Engagement Brianna Millor said in the release. 

To that end, the city’s Community Engagement Cabinet is hosting a 311 app training session from 3 to 6 p.m. on Friday at the Bruce Bolling Building in Roxbury. 

The new version of Boston 311 is available as a free download in the app stores for both iPhones and Androids and can also be accessed at boston.gov/311.

The full list of available languages appears below:

  • English
  • Spanish
  • Haitian Creole
  • Traditional Chinese
  • Simplified Chinese
  • Vietnamese
  • Russian
  • Cape Verdean Creole
  • Arabic
  • Brazilian Portuguese
  • French

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