Download MyBellevue and win prizes
Recognizing that tech-savvy residents and workers in Bellevue use their smart phones to do so many other things, the city has just launched a mobile app that makes it possible for them to enter service requests and access city news, jobs and social media easily with their phones too.
See a damaged sign or other problem? No more need to figure out whom to contact and how. With the app, called MyBellevue, you can notify the city in real time, with a photo and GPS location if you wish. A minute-long animation explains the app in humorous terms.
As part of the launch of this app, a temporary widget will ask users what they like most about "their" Bellevue. Participants can enter their names in a drawing for free passes to the aquatic center and a new zip line, as well as gift cards or passes from the Bellevue Collection, the Bellevue Arts Museum, the 520 Bar and Grill and the Bellevue Downtown Association.
The app even allows you to check for other service requests in the area. If someone else has already entered the problem you're seeing, you can give that request a "thumbs-up" and track when it gets fixed. If you choose, you can submit a request anonymously too.
"People do so much now with their smart phones, it's time to make city services and programs available that way too," said Toni Cramer, Bellevue's chief information officer. "People can still ask for help by phone or online, but this makes service and information as easy to access as possible via whatever is the most comfortable and convenient way for folks living, working and visiting here."
In addition to service requests, MyBellevue offers other widgets (links) for programs people on the go would want to know about, including city news, emergencies, jobs and social media. The widgets take users to mobile-enabled web pages.
MyBellevue is available in the Apple App Store, Google Play and Blackberry World. It will be available in the Microsoft Windows Store soon.
The new mobile app is managed under a contract with New York-based PublicStuff, which has developed mobile apps for more than 30 other cities across the country. In September the City Council approved a three-year, $92,737 contract with PublicStuff for the customer request and management application, following a procurement process.
People are not obligated to download the app to make service requests and access popular programs. All city programs, including a MyBellevue customer service portal, continue to be available on the city website.
Cramer, who leads the city's Information Technology Department, credited staff for selecting a program that could meet an emerging service need and for carefully testing and preparing the interface between PublicStuff's back-end system and the city's own service tracking software.
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