City officials are claiming success for the city helpline at 060606. According to the figures the helpline has received more than 16 million calls since October 2002, when it started, and October 2008.
Begun as a switchboard for the city council, the service expanded in 2004 to offer information on such topics as transport, utilities, waste management and public works to the general public. Over 200 operators at the call centre are responsible for providing basic information and routing more complicated queries to the appropriate city office. The city says that between August 2007 and July 2008 operators were able to resolve over 80 per cent of the requests for information themselves, without having to re-route the calls.
A call to 060606 costs the same as a local call and the service is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Operators speak both English and Italian and help in French, German, Spanish, Arabic, Chinese, Romanian, Albanian and Polish is available from Monday to Saturday between 16.00 and 19.00.
Another city information service 060608, which started at the end of 2007, provides callers with information about cultural events, museum times and tickets. The line is open from 9.30-22.30 seven days a week.