Leaving a burger half-eaten and making a mad dash to the parking meter may soon be a hassle of the past.
The new ParkNYC app allows users to pay for parking with their smartphones, eliminating the need to feed parking meters with cash or credit/debit cards.
“New York finally joins the ranks of a lot of other cities,” DOT Commissioner PollyTrottenberg told Metro.
The company, Parkmobile, has systems running in more than 200 cities, including Hoboken, Newark, Philadelphia and Boston, the commissioner said.
This month ParkNYC zone numbers will be rolled out as decals and signs between 14th Street and 59th Street, from the East River to the Hudson River. By the summer, all 85,000 metered parking spots in the city will be payable with ParkNYC.
“We’re doing it differently in New York, with a unique spin,” Trottenberg said. “We’re not charging the transaction fee, and will integrate it with the NYPD.”
Traffic agents will be able to scan the registration barcode with their handheld devices to check if the parking is valid or expired.
Trottenberg added that the five-year contract with Parkmobile comes at no cost to the city, as they’re waving the transaction fee. Users also save money because they’ll only have to deal with a one-time transaction fee on their card, rather than one for each time they park.
Mayor Bill de Blasiobeamed praise for the program.
“With no paper receipt and the ability to quickly get on your way, this new pay-by-cell tool fulfills our commitment — made in this year’s State of the City address — that we would help save New Yorkers the most precious of resources: their time,” he said in a statement.
Trottenberg, who unveiled the system in Kips Bay on Monday, said she doesn’t expect the system to affect parking revenue, which currently amounts to about $200 million, but it will most certainly save drivers some money and aggravation.
After downloading the app you then register your account (or sign up at www.parknyc.org), provide your license plate number, and load your digital wallet in increments as low as $25, similar to like EZ-Pass. After parking, you enter the zone number for the block (printed on a sign) and add your length of time. If your time is running out and the block’s time limit was not reached, you can extend your parking without going back to the street.
“We’re doing it as aggressively as we can,” Trottenberg said.
The new app is optional. The regular Muni-Meters will continue to operate as usual, accepting coins and credit/debit cards in exchange for a piece of paper to put on your dashboard.