D.C. 311 callers face long wait times

Callers of the city’s 311 number have told ABC7 they’ve had to wait several minutes to get a human on the phone.

The wait exceeded several minutes when ABC7 tried to reach the citywide call center. 311 is the non-emergency number you call for assistance, information or to complain.

Why is it taking upwards of ten minutes for some people to get an answer at 311? The mayor’s office didn’t comment.

“This is the time of year when we when we get more calls, summertime,” said Teddy Kavaleri, the interim director of unified communications.

Kavaleri says call volume is more than twice what it was five years ago. He says call takers spend more time with callers, processing complaints and filing requests for help. He acknowledged the center is trying to find ways to speed things up.

“One of the things we are implementing is an integrated voice response system so you don't have to actually talk to a person,” he said.

One person who has called 311 said the call takers are not as responsive as they were a year ago.

The director of the call center said if you want the quickest response, forget about the phone altogether and go online. At, you can file a request for service and check on its status.