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Study: Columbus 3-1-1 Call Center Efficient

The telephone number 3-1-1 is a non-emergency number that callers may use to get assistance from city government. According to a new study the Columbus 3-1-1 call center compares favorably with other similar sized cities that operate such systems. That's according to a report released by the Pew Charitable Trust's Philadelphia Research Initiative.

Of 15 cities analyzed in the study, Columbus had the second highest cost per call at $5.50. But project director Thomas Ginsberg says the call center's budget is a very small part of the cost of city government.

"As a percentage of the operating fund budget the 3-1-1 was .24 percent which is way less than a penny on a dollar," Ginsberg says. "Almost close to the median so that was pretty much close to the average and Columbus seems to be on most of these measures within the middle range of about average."

Ginsberg says it takes Columbus callers about half a minute to get their calls answered by a live agent and about two minutes for every call to be handled.