New York City Introduces Remote Parking Meter Program That Allows Drivers To Pay Via Smartphone

on April 09 2013 12:50 PM
New York City Muni Meter
New York City motorists won't have to search for coins -- or parking spaces -- under a new program launched Tuesday by Mayor Michael Bloomberg. Flickr via Creative Commons / Lucius Kwok

New York City drivers may soon be able to say goodbye to most parking tickets if a new program for curbside parking takes off.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg introduced a new pilot program Tuesday morning that will allow people to pay for curbside parking remotely via their smartphones, the Internet or standard telephone.

The app will also warn drivers via e-mail or text message when the time left on their meter is about to expire, at which point they can add more time remotely, Bloomberg said.

“Today, we’re launching a pilot pay-by-phone parking initiative along 18 metered blocks in the Arthur Avenue Business Improvement District as well as an online parking-availability map for the area that motorists or passengers can see on the Web and on their smartphones,” Bloomberg said at a press conference unveiling the new system. “These new initiatives are just the latest examples of our work to bring parking and driving in New York City into the 21st century.”

The program is made possible by a groundbreaking new mobile app that would do away with coins, credit card payments and receipts on dashboards, cutting back on wasted time and paper but likely also cutting into the millions of dollars the city makes each year through parking fines.

The pilot will start out along 18 blocks in the Bronx, where motorists will be able to pay to park at 264 curbside parking spots and dozens of spaces within the Department of Transportation's Belmont Municipal Parking Field via the smartphone app, which will also provide a real-time map that will display current parking availability in the area.

The parking map aims to provide convenience for drivers and cut down on motorists circling blocks looking for spaces, and the wasted gas and fumes that result from that most New York of rituals.

The system, which will require advance registration at the PayByPhone website, will come at no additional cost to motorists and will not involve raising taxes or parking rates, Bloomberg said.

The pilot, which came about via a public-private partnership between the city's Department of Transportation and vendors Streetline, IPsens and Xerox, will use sensors embedded in the roads to generate the parking-availability map.

“Parking is easier and more convenient when you know where to look for a space and when you can pay with a click instead of fumbling for change,” Department of Transportation Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan said at the Tuesday press conference. “Innovative technologies like these can help make one of the basic facts of city life a little easier while making our streets and commercial districts even more accessible.”

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