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Boston deploys smartphone app for city workers

The city’s looking grimy? There’s an app for that.

Boston’s Public Works Department has launched a pilot program that gives smartphones loaded with a software program called City Worker to 45 highway and waste removal inspectors. The app is designed to alert the workers about trouble spots such as potholes, graffiti, or broken street lights, in their respective coverage zones.

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The app also lets them manage their case loads remotely, and inform dispatchers when problems have been resolved.

City Worker is an extension of Citizen Connect, an app that the city unveiled in 2009. Citizen Connect gave smartphone-toting Bostonians the ability to use their phones to report nuisances throughout the city.

“This is really the other side of the coin,” said Eric Carlson, co-founder of Connected Bits, the Bedford, N.H., software company that designed the app. “It creates some immediacy that wasn’t available before.”

Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino said in a statement that the app will help city workers respond to problems faster, and communicate with residents more quickly. “This app is one more example of our city using the newest tools to tackle some of the oldest neighborhood challenges,” he said.

Michael B. Farrell can be reached at michael.farrell@globe.com.
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