This week, the city of Montreal unveiled a digital platform that aims to help its residents stay connected. Mayor Denis Coderre calls this project a move towards the city’s transformation into a smart, digital network.
Users will be able to register up to 5 addresses and receive notifications on snow removal, neighbourhood events, and emergencies. It also allows Montrealers to report problems such as burnt out street lights, potholes and cleanliness issues. The platform will work in conjunction to the 311 phone line, which currently handles more than a million requests a year. It is currently in Beta mode.
Once a resident has submitted their request, they will be sent an automated notification of reception. Their ticket will include a file number which allows then to follow up with city administrators. At this time, status updates are not available online.
The app currently offers six available services, but the city plans to roll out up to 200 in the coming years. Eventually, residents will be able to visualize where officials have been alerted to issues on a map of Montreal. This will help prevent duplicate reports for the same issue. New features expected to launch before Christmas time include an option to request parking permits via the app, and the option to obtain a pet license digitally.
For now, the services are available in only eight of the city’s 19 boroughs: Pierrefonds-Roxboro, Verdun, Ville-Marie, Sud-Ouest, St-Laurent, Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie, Côte-des-Neiges–Notre-Dame-de-Grâce and Rivière-des-Prairies–Pointe-aux-Trembles. By the beginning of 2018, all other borough are expected to have access to the online services.
The project cost the city of Montreal $8.2 million, and is part of a larger $28-million revamp of the 311 system.
According to executive committee member Harout Chitilian, the project is a transformation of how citizens interact with the city and with city officials, and how tasks are managed by the city when issues are flagged.