Boston mayor launches Citizens Connect 2.0 mobile app

Last week, Boston Mayor Thomas Menino announced enhancements to the city’s constituent service application for iPhone and Android smart phones. The additional capabilities of Citizens Connect 2.0 will allow city residents to not only submit service requests through their mobile devices, but now they can see and follow requests that are shared by others.

Citizens Connect, first launched more than a year ago, allows residents to report graffiti, potholes and other issues through their camera phone directly to City officials. Bill Oates, Chief Information Officer for the City of Boston, said Citizens Connect provides an important opportunity for city officials to engage with constituents and “make sure their ideas and interests are reflected in the operations of government.”

Since October 2009, the application has been downloaded 8,000 times and over 6,000 requests for services have been made through Citizens Connect, city officials said. The app has even become the preferred method of reporting graffiti, surpassing the City’s 24-hour hotline in reports.

The new version is compatible with iPhones and Android-based phones and allows citizens to share their service requests by attaching the reporting system to Facebook and Twitter. The hope is that Citizens Connect becomes a tool that empowers residents to improve their neighborhoods and helps them connect to one another through a host of Web 2.0 platforms, Mayor Menino said in a statement.

“The Citizens Connect was a great success; 2.0 will be even better,” he said. “We are using the latest technology to invite residents to help make our government even more accessible and our neighborhoods even more beautiful.”

As with the previous version, reports can be monitored for status updates and developers are encouraged to inquire about using the Citizens Connect API by contacting the City.

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