Tag Archives: 3-1-1

Montreal 3-1-1 service is here

Montreal mayor Gérald Tremblay announced today (the press release is, naturally, not available in English) the launch of 3-1-1, the city’s non-emergency information service, just over two months after Laval brought its own system online.

It’s basically just a shortcut for the city’s Access Montreal phone service, and is available from phones off-island by dialing 514-872-0311. It runs weekdays 8:30am-8:30pm and weekends/holidays 9am-5pm. Things that can’t wait but aren’t necessarily life-threatening (broken traffic light, water pipe burst, snow’s been falling a whole five minutes and your street hasn’t been plowed yet) will be dealt with immediately you can leave a message about at any time and I guess someone will check the voicemail during the off-hours regularly.

The city plans to spend $3 million on this service in 2008, but wants to remind you that most of what you’d need to call about is available on its mammoth website. That includes finding out where those evil plow people took your car last night.

UPDATE: A Gazette story.

Montreal’s 3-1-1 doesn’t look promising

Laval has inaugurated its 3-1-1 service. For those unfamiliar, 3-1-1 is the non-emergency alternative to 9-1-1, used for things like reporting broken traffic lights or getting information from city hall (provided your curiosity or civic-mindedness happens during the line’s opening hours).

The story includes an interesting quote from Montreal mayor Gerald Tremblay:

Tremblay said Montreal’s 3-1-1 service will be even better than Laval’s when it comes on line in December because it will automatically hook callers up to borough offices.

“It’ll be more decentralized – in Laval, everything is centralized,” said Tremblay.

Forgive my ignorance, but isn’t the entire point of 3-1-1 to act as a centralized call centre?

Apparently not:

West Islanders and other breakaway residents will be able to dial 311 and get Montreal city hall on the line; but they will be referred to their own city halls for enquires of a local nature. However, they will be able to get help from 311 on matters relating to agglomeration jurisdiction, such as property assessments.

Ah bureaucracy. I can just smell the efficiency this service will have in getting information where it needs to go.