311? Who knew?

Our new cyber neighbors over at losanjealous just posted about how silly it is that we have all these different 3 digit phone codes for different services – the latest of those being 399 for MTA roadside assistance. They ask why not just have one number that would be much easier to remember for any and all non-life threatening emergencies, such as 311, so people wouldn’t have to have a phone book on hand to look up which 3 digit quick dial number applied to their situation. Turns out, we already have one.

“>UPDATE: Brian from the LAFD reports that the City of Los Angeles has had a 311 system since November 2002. It’s time to get the word out. Graffiti removal, bee control, Christmas tree recycling, taking down shoes from utility lines, permits, Japanese Garden rental and more are just three digits away.”

Wow, that’s news to me. Although perhaps it shouldn’t be because it looks like it’s been discussed in the comments here before as well. Additionally, at least back in December of ’04 there were a few issues with some mobile phone carriers, which means depending on where your problem was, if you only had a cell phone you couldn’t use this number. That might be rectified now but I don’t know, however the back up number is 1-866-4LACITY and that works with everything.

More: Looks like 5000! covered this as well as a ton of other service numbers back in October of ’04. Good thing I check the archives so throughly before posting about stuff like this.

6 Replies to “311? Who knew?”

  1. Sean,

    When 3-1-1 was first introduced in Los Angeles in late 2002, there were indeed some wireless carriers not yet offering citywide access. That changed in March 2005.

    In the City of Los Angeles, 3-1-1 may now be reached through any “hardwired” telephone as well as cell phones that are serviced by Cingular Wireless (including former ATT customers), Nextel, Sprint and T-Mobile – when the number is dialed from within City limits.

    Knowledge is indeed power, and civil servants can’t themselves be empowered to help the populace they are aware of public needs. If 3-1-1 makes it easier and less intimidating for people to contact us for routine matters, then we’re all for it!

    In closing, I also welcome people to visit and bookmark our “Report a Fire Hazard” web page, which includes many links and forms for the nagging problems – ooften not Fire Department related – that impact our collective safety and quality of life.

    Respectfully Yours in Safety and Service:

    Brian Humphrey
    Firefighter/Specialist
    Public Service Officer
    Los Angeles Fire Department

    LAFD Homepage: http://www.lafd.org
    LAFD New Blog: http://lafd-dot-blogspot-dot-com

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