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Updated Boston 311 app adds support for 10 new languages

The city’s 311 app, used to request non-emergency services like potholes and parking enforcement, now offers help in 11 of Boston’s most common languages, the mayor’s office announced Tuesday.David L. Ryan/Globe Staff

The city’s 311 app, used to request non-emergency services like potholes and parking enforcement, now offers help in 11 of Boston’s most common languages, the mayor’s office announced Tuesday.

The overnight update added Spanish, Haitian Creole, Traditional and Simplified Chinese, Vietnamese, Russian, Cape Verdean Creole, Arabic, Brazilian Portuguese, and French. Previously, English was the only language supported.

In a statement, Mayor Michelle Wu called the app “more accessible and easy to use than ever before.”

“Tackling the big challenges our city faces starts with addressing the daily constituent issues that our residents experience across Boston’s neighborhoods,” Wu said. “I want to thank all the city departments who worked on this upgrade, and encourage all residents to use it where needed.”

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The new app also includes accessibility tweaks based on a six-week study by the mayor’s Office of New Urban Mechanics, which gathered feedback from residents across Boston’s distinct neighborhoods and populations.

Users can also now view the status of city services like street cleaning schedules and COVID-19 testing sites directly in the app, and can submit multiple photos to accompany their service requests instead of just one.

Brianna Millor, the city’s chief of community engagement, said in a statement that the expanded language selection is “critical to ensuring residents can effectively use city services.”

“The 311 app is a crucial tool for connecting with our constituents, but it only works if residents know how to properly use it,” Millor said. “Together we can use the experiences of our constituents to fix problems and create a Boston for everyone.”

Since the app was launched in 2009, residents have submitted more than 1 million requests through it. Today, it’s the most popular way to report non-emergencies, accounting for more than half of all requests made. Residents can also file requests online or by calling the 311 hotline 24/7.

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Boston’s Community Engagement Cabinet will host a training session on the app Friday from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. at Roxbury’s Bruce C. Bolling Municipal Building at 2300 Washington St. Spanish, Haitian Creole, Cape Verdean Creole, Vietnamese, and Cantonese interpreters will be available.

Residents can voice their feedback on the app via an online survey.


Daniel Kool can be reached at daniel.kool@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @dekool01.