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Boston Info Alexa Skill

How to Use This Skill

You can use our skill with the Amazon Alexa stand-alone home device or with the Alexa app on your phone. You can start interacting with our skill by asking Alexa to "Open Boston Info" or starting any of your requests with "Alexa, ask Boston Info ..."

Many of the skill's responses require an address to provide accurate information. To make the skill more convenient, we will ask for permissions to use your device's location. If you prefer not to provide these permissions, you can always provide an address with your question (ex: "Alexa, ask Boston Info when is garbage day at 206 Washington Street").

Current Skill Abilities:

Find out your Voting/Polling Location

The Boston Info app can be used to find your election voting location.

Example Request:

"Alexa, ask Boston Info where do I vote for {Address}"

Get the latest information on the Coronavirus/COVID-19

The City of Boston website is providing updates for the Coronavirus and its impact on the city. The Boston Info app will get this latest information for you.

Example Request:

"Alexa, ask Boston Info for the latest information about the Coronavirus"

Find out your Trash Day

This is used to find trash and recycling pickup and collection days. You can ask for recycling or trash/garbage days specifically. It will tell you what day of the week trash is picked up from the given address.

Example Request:

"Alexa, ask Boston Info what my garbage day is."

"Alexa, have Boston Info find the recyclables collection days at {Address}"

Find out if there is a snow emergency in effect

You can ask Boston Info if there is currently a snow emergency in the City of Boston.

Example Request:

"Alexa, ask Boston Info if there is a snow emergency"

Find the nearest Emergency Snow Parking

This is used to find snow emergency parking. Given an address, it will find the nearest emergency snow parking lot by distance. It will tell you the name and address of the parking lot, as well as estimating how long it will take you to drive there. If the information is available this intent can also tell you how many spaces are in the lot, if the lot charges a fee, and what phone number to call for more information about the parking lot.

Example Request:

"Alexa, Ask Boston Info where I can park during a snow emergency.

Find any current Alerts

This is used to get any alerts for the day put out by the Boston government. The alerts can be about any of the following services:

  • street cleaning
  • trash and recycling
  • city building hours
  • parking meters
  • tow alerts

Example Request:

"Alexa, ask Boston Info if there are any alerts."

Find out the latest Three One One

This intent will give you the most recent BOS:311 reports. BOS:311 is an app where residents of Boston can report non-emergency issues like potholes or traffic light outages.

Example Request:

"Alexa, ask Boston Info what's the most recent three one one?"

"Alexa, ask Boston Info to tell me the 4 most recent three one ones"

Find any nearby Food Trucks

This intent gets near-by food trucks for the given or stored Address. It returns the first five food trucks it finds within one mile of the given address as well as the period that the food truck is expected to be at the location.

Example Requests:

"Alexa, ask Boston Info where are the nearest food trucks?"

"Alexa, ask Boston Info what's for lunch?"

Find any open farmers markets

The Boston Info app can let you know if there are any farmers markets open today.

Example Requests:

"Alexa, ask Boston Info what farmers markets are open?"

Find any nearby Crime incidents

The crime incidents intent will tell you any recently reported crimes in your area.

Example Requests:

"Alexa, ask Boston Info what's the crime activity in my area?"

"Alexa, ask Boston Info what is the crime near me?"

Leave Feedback for us!

This is used to provide feedback about the skill, including bug reports and suggestions for new intents. You can leave feedback on our skill by telling Alexa directly!

Example Request:

"Alexa, I have a suggestion for Boston Info."

"Alexa, I'd like to report a bug to Boston Info."

Intents in Development:

You can see intents that are currently in development or that we hope to develop in the future by checking out our new intent ideas page.

We are also looking for user feedback on what intents would be most helpful or would be most wanted. So if you don't see an intent you are looking for please let us know.

Want to Help Out?

Boston Info is an Alexa skill designed to provide easy access to information about municipal services in Boston.

If you'd like to contribute or learn more about what we're working on, please visit our wiki page. There, you will find basic information about Alexa's development and instructions on setting up a local version of Boston Info that you can experiment with.