As covered by Government Technology, Chicago has upgraded the ChiTEXT component of its 311 system to allow citizens to complete most 311 tasks via text. Texts will prompt a series of scripted questions to better identify the problem: For a pot hole, for example, you may get asked if it’s near a curb line or looks like a sinkhole.
Perhaps the most interesting feature is that 311ers can track online their ticket’s progress as it moves through the city’s internal departments. This service is unique to Chicago, says the city’s CTO.
Best of all, use of the technology added no costs, because it was already included as a feature by Motorola, the city’s customer-service vendor. Kudos to Chicago for making strides toward more open and efficient government!