News Releases
The latest news and announcements from Mayor London N. Breed

San Francisco Expands Pilot to Improve Street Cleaning Response Time

Connected Worker App increases efficiency of 311 responses by sending direct referrals to Community Benefit District cleaners, eliminating duplicative responses and getting issues addressed more quickly

San Francisco, CA — Mayor London N. Breed today announced that the City will build on a successful pilot to improve street cleaning service response times. The Connected Worker App program run in partnership between the City’s 311 service and Community Benefit Districts (CBDs) will improve efficiency by eliminating duplicative responses and addressing cleaning requests more quickly in areas covered by partnering CBDs.

San Francisco’s Connected Worker App allows cleaners from Community Benefit Districts to get direct referrals for street cleaning when residents call 311. Under normal circumstances, all 311 cleaning requests get routed to the Department of Public Works, which then dispatches City workers to address the issues. But CBDs have street cleaners already out in the community proactively cleaning, and often Public Works employees arrive on scene to find out that the CBD had already addressed the issue.

After a successful pilot with the East Cut CBD, the program is expanding to include the following CBDs: Downtown, Fisherman’s Wharf, SOMA West, Tenderloin, and Yerba Buena. 

“We are working hard every day to improve how we deliver services for our residents, especially around keeping our City clean,” said Mayor London Breed. “We have so many great City workers and private partners who are working hard to clean up our streets and get rid of graffiti and other garbage, and this will allow us to be more efficient and respond faster when our residents call for service. This is all part of our efforts to work together to make our City shine.”

The recent pilot of the Connected Worker App with the East Cut CBD focused on routing calls to deal with loose garbage and graffiti directly to CBD workers. The average resolution times for requests handled directly by the CBD were significantly better as workers were already on scene and ready to address issues. Resolution times included:

  • 5 hours for loose trash, compared to 34 hours Citywide
  • 4 hours for graffiti in the public space, compared to 6 days Citywide
  • 13 hours for graffiti in private space, compared to 9 days Citywide

“The East Cut CBD is proud to partner with the City to improve sidewalk cleanliness,” said Andrew Robinson, executive director of The East Cut CBD. “The 311 project makes it easier for our team to handle cleaning requests and communicate with City departments, allowing each team to be more efficient. The pilot phase of the project has proven very beneficial to us and our community.”

Benefits of the Connected Worker App include:

  • Eliminates duplicate dispatch of resources. Often, requests submitted through 311 would be routed to Public Works, and Public Works would dispatch a crew only to find out CBDs had already addressed the issue. This tool will route some cases directly to the CBD, if within their geographic area, for CBDs to address. If the CBD does not address the issue within the agreed-upon time, Public Works would then service the request.
  • Field workers can see 311 requests in "real time"  with visibility to all request details: location, contact information, description, and picture (if submitted by the user). This allows field workers to address 311 requests that pop up while they are on their shift. 
  • Field workers can take a picture of the completed work and close requests in "real time," which would notify the person who submitted the request while also closing it out in the 311 system. This provides transparency and validation of the work being done by field workers. 311 staff are also able to see the status of the request from beginning to end.

This new street cleaning effort is part of Shine On SF, a coalition of public and private sector organizations which aims to support immediate and long-term cleaning improvements and systems changes while also bringing together residents to care for city streets and public spaces, producing a visible change over the next three years.  The initiative is composed of two main components: creating civic engagement opportunities for San Franciscans to volunteer and directly contribute to creating a cleaner and more cared-for city; and expanding and improving the City’s cleaning and beautification programs through immediate investments and long-term systemic changes.