The City of Dallas is expanding its bilingual 311 services in a bid to make it more convenient for Spanish speakers.
Although an official rollout date has yet to be set, a Spanish-language 311 mobile app and an online portal will be launched by December 31. Next year, 30-second videos in English and Spanish will be rolled out to explain how to use the app to report water leaks, flag housing code violations, make noise complaints, and report other non-emergency matters.
The news comes as a relief to many Dallas residents — with 42% being Hispanic — who have had to direct all inquiries to 21 bilingual operators working in the City’s 311 Department.
“I am relieved that the city is listening to us, and finally, our community will be able to use it,” said Ericka Ventura from the nonprofit Bachman Lake Together, according to The Dallas Morning News.
The City of Dallas included the bilingual expansion of 311 services in the goals outlined in its latest Racial Equity Plan. By this time next year, the plan aims to have 30% of 311’s supervisors be bilingual to reduce the wait time for Spanish-speaking callers by three minutes. By December 2026, the City aims to expand 311 services to speakers of even more languages.
“It is way easier to use the app than the phone line because they always take too long to answer, especially when it comes to code concerns in the apartments,” Ventura said.
Most recent data on 311 callers needing to speak to a Spanish-speaking agent showed average wait times of 5 minutes 22 seconds, whereas English-speaking callers were connected after 2 minutes 18 seconds.
Not all City actions taken in line with the Racial Equity Plan goals have been accepted without controversy. As previously covered by The Dallas Express, the City’s Equity Assessment Tool, which prioritizes the needs of certain parts of Dallas over others based on a point system, has drawn criticism for potentially diverting taxpayer resources from areas that may need them most in the name of racial equity.