If you called the city of Pittsburgh's 3-1-1- information center last year, you had a nearly 50-50 chance of giving up before an operator took your call. The Philadelphia Research Institute, which is part of the Pew Charitable Trusts, studied 3-1-1 help lines in 15 cities including Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, Chicago, San Francisco and Columbus. The study's author Thomas Ginsberg says 49,000 Pittsburgh residents called 3-1-1 last year but 45% hung up before an operator answered. The median abandonment rate for 3-1-1 calls to the 15 cities studied was 11.5%.
The study showed that Pittsburgh had the lowest rate of calls....16 per 100 residents....and San Franciso had the highest rate....446 calls per 100 residents.
But Ginsberg said Pittsburgh had the lowest number of calls that were transferred to other lines...""They are trying to do it all themselves."
Ginsberg says Pittsburgh 3-1-1 staff of 6 is the smallest among the the 15 cities as is the $200,000 budget.