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City to go mobile with new service app

This screenshot shows the city of Bellevue
This screenshot shows the city of Bellevue's MyBellevue story as seen on the MyBellevue app for the iPhone.
— image credit: Courtesy Photo

 

There are millions of mobile software applications out there, but only one that will let Bellevue residents and visitors send out requests for city services, get push notifications about projects and further navigate Washington's fifth-largest municipality from their smartphones or tablet devices.

MyBellevue launches Monday (March 28) after City Council in September approved developing the free mobile app, tapping PublicStuff for a three-year, $93,000 contract to help create the latest technological tool for the local government.

"It's kind of a one-stop, where you don't need to know all about the city of Bellevue to report something," said Ian Toms, program administrator for the city's civic services department.

With MyBellevue, users can check out news posts from the city, follow departments for project updates, report problems like downed traffic signs with a few taps, take and upload photos to the city's Facebook page and use geonavigation to see what's going on where they are in Bellevue. If you see a request that you also wanted to make, Toms said you can support the request to emphasize its importance.

"It's kind of that crowdsourcing notion," he said.

If someone makes a service request with the city's mobile app, it is channeled through the city's backend database and shipped to the appropriate department. Toms said Bellevue appears to be the first Eastside city to move forward with an app, but other cities like Seattle have seen success with it. Requests to the city are not expected to increase greatly, he said, but should get where they need to go quicker. And its available to anyone for download. More than 400 city staff members have already signed on, and can also make requests across departments.

"We want everyone to be engaged and let us know about things as they're seeing them," Toms said.

MyBellevue will launch Monday for iPhones, Androids and Blackberry devices, with Windows downloads available in early April to allow Microsoft to finish its coding.

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