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App gives Pittsburghers access to city government

| Saturday, March 12, 2016, 12:21 a.m.

Pittsburghers can talk to city government about potholes or find information about City Hall operations through a free smartphone application that the city made available Friday.

“MyBurgh,” available through smartphone app stores, permits users to request city services, look up news releases, find garbage collection schedules, lodge complaints and track the status of their complaints, city officials said.

The mobile application is part of a three-year $162,000 upgrade of the 311 non-emergency call center that has streamlined how the center's 12 employees handle calls.

Manager Wendy Urbanic said improvements include a computer database that allows 311 operators to reference online data instead of Post-it notes to find information a caller needs.

Call volume has increased by 56 percent since 2013, when the center received 60,601 calls. Last year, it processed 94,712 calls.

Operators answer calls within an average of 16 seconds, and the center's dropped-call rate is 1 percent, below the industry average of 5 percent, said Debra Lam, the city's chief innovation and performance officer.

Bob Bauder is a staff writer for the Tribune-Review. He can be reached at 412-765-2312 or bbauder@tribweb.com.

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