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Monday, October 12, 2009

Potholes? Missed Garbage? Dial 311

(Read carefully! There's a trick question at the end!)

311 City Services

At the end of September, a new service went into effect for Toronto residents.  311 is the number to call for one stop City Services shopping. At 311t people can  access  dozens of city services, obtain information, request help or report complaints ranging from potholes to missed garbage.

The $35-million system costs $11 million a year to operate.

empty bowl "We have the second-largest 311 system in North America, after New York City," Evans said, showing a large electronic board that tracks callers and those waiting.

Some 100 work stations were built in the former council chamber of Metro Hall to accommodate the staff (transferred from other departments), takes calls 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. 

"We are changing the way the city provides services," said 311 program director Neil Evans. "This system will increase our effectiveness in responding to public inquiries."

The system currently handles the city's solid waste, water and transportation departments. Parking enforcement, forestry, parks and recreation and others will be added next year. (Ahhh that's where the money from the cuts went!)

Now HERE's today' s Math & Ethics question: If a city can spend $11 million extra dollars a year to answer phone calls that were already being answered, by people who were already answering the phone calls , who previously worked straight days, how many people in the hungry city would that money have fed?


Credits:Quotes and research from article by TOM.GODFREY@SUNMEDIA.CA  Wanna get some service? Dial 311 - Yahoo! Canada News

Bowl Modified from HERE

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