What’s making news in Minneapolis, reported by the Star Tribune’s team of city reporters. Send news tips to suzanne.ziegler@startribune.com.

City releases 311 mobile app

Posted by: Eric Roper Updated: July 18, 2012 - 1:01 PM

Minneapolis 311 is going mobile.

The city rolled out a smartphone app Wednesday morning that will allow residents to report non-emergency issues such as graffiti, potholes, broken streetlights and abandoned vehicles.

The app, called Minneapolis 311, is available for free in the Apple and Android app stores. To use it, residents must register their e-mail address.

It's not all about reporting problems. Residents can use the app to identify issues other people have reported in their neighborhood and "vote" to fix it.

Unlike the 311 call center, which is open 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. during weekdays, the mobile app redirects issues to appropriate city staffers 24/7. This functionality was already available on the city's 311 online services site.

"It really brings technology that is current right to where the people live," Mayor R.T. Rybak said at a press conference. "That technology is obviously something that a whole lot of people in our city have right in their pocket." 

Council Member Gary Schiff encouraged people to submit feedback about glitches -- he found some on the Android version -- to improve the app's performance.

"It's going to reduce the cost of government," Schiff said. "At the same time it's going to empower citizens at their fingertips to report problems that we need to know about."

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