Richmond Launches New App to Let Residents Report Problems
Tomorrow, the City of Richmond will unveil an update to their online web portal, RVA311. Mayor Levar Stoney said during a press conference Tuesday that the systems will serve as the “eyes and ears” for the city.
RVA311 launched in 2018, the same year the Department of Citizen Service and Response was created and Pete Breil was appointed its director. The web and mobile service allows residents to submit individual service requests in their neighborhoods.
Before RVA311, the city used SeeClickFix to funnel in all its service request needs. Breil says the city’s new system vastly exceeds the old.
“SeeClickFix, although it had a friendly user interface, did not connect to any back end systems, only had I believe 6 to 8 request types whereas we’re approaching 70 now, and was extremely limited in its capabilities,” Breil said.
According to Breil, RVA311 receives over 6,000 monthly requests over the phone, online or through its mobile app. Residents can ask about everything from potholes and trash collection to tax deadlines and up-to-date information about COVID-19.
Starting Wednesday, RVA311’s new features will include: mobile notifications from the city, an enhanced search function, a map which allows residents to explore requests in their neighborhood and an upvote feature so residents can follow and promote requests instead of submitting duplicates.
“We tried to take the user friendliness of SeeClickFix in terms of visual display, ability to vote on request in your neighborhood and ability to see what’s going on in your community and couple that with integration with all of our backend systems,” Breil said.
And, he says when you create a request in RVA311 it sends it directly to city departments.
Stoney says the data from this app helps inform the budget process, and shows up back in RVA311 For instance: an investment in road paving resulted in less potholes reported on RVA311.
“When we make these investments you can see that the response occurs in the data,” Stoney said. “It’s been a great guide for not just me as the chief executive but also for a number of my directors as well being able to highlight and prioritize where we need to invest and where we need to respond for our residents.”
Tomorrow, residents can download the new RVA311 in the app store on their mobile phones. For people with complaints today, and in the future, you can also visit rva311.com or call 311.