311 expands into NYC subway system to combat homelessness, panhandling

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Mayor Bill de Blasio is expanding the city’s 311 system into the subways to address homelessness and panhandling in the largest expansion of the service since its inception 20 years ago.

“This upgrade will offer an important resource to improve riders’ experience in the system and connect our most vulnerable neighbors to the services they need, and I’m grateful for the MTA’s partnership,” de Blasio said in a statement.

“This enables vulnerable New Yorkers in the subway system to be connected to the 311 system and all the significant resources and assistance it can offer,” said Sarah Feinberg, Interim President of MTA New York City Transit.

“Customers and MTA employees alike can now use the 311 app to report anyone in a station who might need outreach from homeless services, or mental health assistance, and that person is now much more likely to get the help they need,” Feinberg said.

Feinberg’s been calling for the measure since January because of the number of homeless and mentally ill New Yorkers in the subway system.

The 311 service is available around-the-clock, in multiple languages through the mobile app, online or by texting 311-NYC (692).

New Yorkers should still call 911 if they witness dangerous or illegal activity in the subway system, officials said.

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