311 Toronto is a preferred first point of contact and gateway for residents, businesses and visitors, providing them with easy access to non-emergency information about City services and programs, 24 hours a day, seven days a week in over 180 languages.

Budget Notes

311 provides a single‐point‐of‐access to non‐emergency City of Toronto program and service inquiries for all residents, businesses and visitors, in order to provide convenient, prompt, accurate and reliable City government information and
requests for service to the public, while making the best use of staff expertise, resources and technology.

View the 311 Toronto Program Map in greater detail.

311 Toronto is a preferred first point of contact and gateway for residents, businesses and visitors, providing them with easy access to non-emergency information about City services and programs, 24 hours a day, seven days a week in over 180 languages.

2018 Budget Summary

The total cost to deliver these services to Toronto residents is $18.624 million gross and $9.826 million net.

311 Toronto was able to offset $0.120 million in opening pressures mainly from reduced salary and benefits through line-by-line expenditure reductions, and service efficiency savings, thereby maintaining the 2017 level of service while at the same time achieving 0% increase from the 2017 Net Operating Budget.

Fast Facts

  • 5 full-time equivalent Customer Service Representatives (CSR), along with 8 coordinators, will provide services to citizens and businesses.
  • Access to non-emergency City services for residents and businesses provided in over 180 languages 24/7.
  • 311 anticipates handling 896,530 general inquiries and initiating 415,390 service requests for a total of 1,311,920 in 2017. Based on current trends, the 2018 planned number of total contacts to handle for 311 will be 1,338,158 or an increase of 2%.
  • From November 23, 2015, 311 Toronto began handling Tier 1 Tax and Utility related calls, formerly handled by Revenue Services.
  • In 2017, it is expected that the Program will handle 274,477 tax and utility related calls and the 2018 planned call volume will be 285,456 calls handled, which is a projected increase of 4%.

Trends

  • Total contacts handled are expected to be relatively flat in 2017 when compared to prior year, but has seen a significant increase of 33% when compared to 2010 volume – the first year of 311 full operation.
  • Estimated growth for customer contacts for 2018 is 2% excluding potential incremental growth due to integrations with other City Programs.
  • In 2017, year-to-date, 81% of all calls were answered within 75 seconds with an average talk time of 276 seconds per call.

Key Service Deliverables for 2018

311 Toronto is responsible for providing non-emergency municipal information and services on a 24/7 basis. The 2018 Preliminary Operating Budget will provide funding to:

  • Continue operating on a 24 hour a day, seven days a week basis to provide reliable access to non-emergency City services for all residents and businesses in over 180 languages.
  • Complete 70% of contacts at first point of contact and transferring less than 30% of all contacts to other Programs and Agencies.
  • Log and track 100% of all 311-initiated complaints and all service requests.
  • Ensure 100% of the information by Program is posted to the 311 Knowledge Base in a timely and accurate manner.
  • Enhance the use of speech analytics to drive efficiencies and increase customer satisfaction.
  • Improve access to online services by moving customers to lower cost channels and continue to support the open data initiative by posting 311 reports online.

Plan for the end of life replacement of servers, hardware and software to ensure continuity of the 311 Contact Centre Operations through the 2017-2026 Preliminary Capital Budget and Plan.

Our Key Issues & Priority Actions

  • Increase in Complexity of Calls continues to be experienced by 311.
    • 311 is implementing initiatives that better anticipate scheduling requirements, focus on quality management to coach staff in minimizing handle time, and will re-structure the call escalation process.
  • Unplanned Weather and Peak Demand Events, with weather becoming increasingly volatile, 311 will focus on how to better prepare and respond effectively to these demands.
    • Developing a part time availability process that increases flexibility when scheduling shifts to meet increased volumes.
    • Continuing to develop partnerships with entities such as Toronto Hydro and Canada Post to ensure accurate and timely information is communicated to callers at the first point of contact.
  • Employee Development and Staff Engagement is a focus for succession planning.
    • Continuing to emphasize a talent development program that provides employees with growth opportunities.

2018 Operating Budget Highlights

  • The 2018 Preliminary Operating Budget for 311 Toronto of $18.6 million gross and $9.8 million net provides funding for four services:
  • Performance Reporting, Service Delivery, Development and Information & Business Processing.
  • The Program has achieved the Council directed budget target of 0% increase from the 2017 Approved Budget through the following actions:
    • Provided efficiency savings of $0.120 million.
  • Staff complement will increase by 2.5 from 2017 to 2018.

311 Toronto is a preferred first point of contact and gateway for residents, businesses and visitors, providing them with easy access to non-emergency information about City services and programs, 24 hours a day, seven days a week in over 180 languages. To deliver these services, the infrastructure and technology that support the highly complex contact centre and integrated system must operate without interruption. It is essential that the various assets to support these services are maintained and replaced regularly based on their lifecycles.

311 Toronto’s 10-Year Preliminary Capital Budget and Plan of $29.521 million in debt funding for 311 Toronto for State of Good Repair projects for server, hardware / software upgrades including the Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Solution, enhancement of the Email Management System (EWMS), Business Intelligence Portal, SharePoint and Verint upgrades. Service Improvement projects relate specifically to service integrations with Municipal Licensing and Standards (ML&S) and Toronto Building that require support on significant call volumes received.

Where does the money go?

The 2018 – 2027 Preliminary Capital Budget and Plan totalling $29.521 million provides funding for:

  • State of Good Repair (SOGR) projects that ensure hardware is upgraded every 5 years while the lifecycle replacement of the software to newer generation technology solutions occurs regularly allowing for continuity of operations.
  • Service Improvement projects that expands 311’s service offerings and integrations include an expansion of 311’s ability to provide additional services through future integrations with City Programs such as Toronto Building, which handle significant call volumes and could benefit from integrations with 311 Toronto.

Where does the money come from?

The 10-Year Preliminary Capital Budget and Plan is 100% debt funded.

State of Good Repair Backlog

311 Toronto does not have a backlog of State of Good Repair for its inventory of capital assets. Funding included in the 10-Year Preliminary Capital Budget and Plan addresses all state of good repair projects based on planned lifecycle replacement and ensures continuity of the 311 Solution.

Key Issues & Priority Actions

  • Integrated Technology Solutions – There are recognized inherent challenges of integrating disparate information technology (IT) systems with new solutions in Call Centre Operations. City Programs use legacy systems that are not fully compatible with current 311 IT infrastructure.
  • The Program will continue to work with Corporate I&T to determine the best method of developing integration solutions, development of the future Customer Relationship (CRM) tool, Digital Migration and Channel & Counter Strategies.
  • Integration with City Programs – Integration can provide a number of benefits, including improvements to customer service, operational efficiencies and potential long-term savings. Leveraging 311 Toronto’s expertise in customer service, technology and infrastructure will allow efficiencies from economies of scale to be realized.
  • Digital and Channel Migration
    • Move to lower cost channels
    • Enhance overall customer service experience
    • Execute the Digital Migration and Channel & Counter Strategies.

2018 Capital Budget Highlights

The 2018 Preliminary Capital Budget and Plan for 311 Toronto of $3.996 million, excluding carry forward funding, will:

  • Continue the Customer Relationship Management (CRM) project as part of 311 Toronto’s service improvement ($2.279 million).
  • Upgrade the licenses for the SharePoint solution, which is at the end of its lifecycle and requires an upgrade to the latest version to ensure business continuity.

Transition 16 manual transactions to a digital offering for pre-authorized tax & utility payments and ownership updates, tax and water relief program for low income seniors and persons with a disability; parking permit refunds, temp parking permit ), accessible parking, oversized load/vehicle permit (annual & single trip), disposal bin & re-paving permit.