Halifax launches multilingual 311 help line
Service offered in 150 languages
Residents in Halifax can now dial 3-1-1 to report their neighbour's barking dog, inquire about garbage pickup or figure out how long they'll be waiting in the cold for a bus.
The new municipal phone line will replace the Halifax Regional Municipality's current call centre, which handled more than 500,000 calls last year on everything from snow removal to transit schedules. It will also handle city events and non-emergency police calls.
- Animal services & licenses
- Bylaw complaints
- City event information
- Construction services
- Customer service
- Garbage collection schedules
- Illegally parked vehicle complaints
- Bus schedules
- Parking ticket payments
- Property tax information
- Requests concerning parks, playgrounds and sports fields
- Requests for street and sidewalk maintenance
- Traffic and street lights; concerns and suggestions
- Waste water services
The city said it hopes the new system makes it easier for the rural communities to use the call centre.
It also includes a new interpretation service that will allow information to be passed on in 150 different languages.
Halifax Regional Municipality managers said they think the new 3-1-1 system will be particularly useful for university students who come from across the country and around the world.
Patrick Harris, a first-year Dalhousie University student from Ontario, agrees.
"If there's one number we can dial to find out all that information, that would be extremely helpful. If they can tell us when the bus schedules is, and next year when we have houses when garbage pick up is all that information is definitely useful. Especially for the international students if they're giving them options for different languages," he said.
Within a few days people will also be able to make complaints and ask questions about municipal services on-line.
The service will be closed on Christmas and New Year's Day.