Many municipal governments adopted 311 decades ago and have advocated access equality in citizens’ use of 311. However, the role of citizens in the development and usage of 311 remains limited. Channel choices have been discussed in various types of governmental information and communication technologies (ICTs), especially when the innovative technology has just been adopted. Much has supported the idea that 311 is viewed as a method of digital civic engagement that many municipal governments adopt to maintain citizen relationship management and the capacity for government service delivery. However, we are still unclear about how citizens use it. This study applies the theory of channel expansion to examine how San Francisco residents use the 311 system, and how citizens’ technology experiences impact their 311 digital contact channel choices rather than the 311 hotline contact channel choice. In addition, we discuss major issues in citizens’ 311 contact choices, so that 311 municipal governments may draw lessons from the San Francisco experience.
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