Open up that kitchen drawer stuffed with orange envelopes because New York City says its new parking ticket app will make it easier for motorists to pay their fines or dispute their violations.
Called the NYC Parking Ticket Pay or Dispute app, it's free to download. The app is expected to reduce fines from unpaid tickets while making it more likely people will pay, according to city officials.
Last year, New York City $1.5 billion in parking tickets while another $226 million went unpaid.
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Surprisingly, half of all tickets challenged in 2016 were dismissed.
Seb Formoso, chief information officer for the Department of Finance, said there are two real advantages of the app. It makes it easier to pay the ticket immediately and avoid forgetting to pay and accruing late fees. It also makes it easier to dispute the ticket.
“It’s very efficient,” he told Metro. “We reached a point where we want to make it possible to do anything they [New Yorkers] want to do via their smartphone rather than find a web terminal to get to the website.”
The app is particularly helpful if you choose to fight a ticket. After receiving the dreaded orange violation on the windshield, a driver can submit any evidence while still on the scene, including photos.
“So you get a paper ticket and you don’t have the app, and you are in a hurry, so you go home. Then you realize, ‘I should have taken a picture, I need to go back,’” Formoso said.
The new app, he added, “will give you all the prompts, so you can submit it all right away and it will start to get processed by the Department of Finance while you drive home."
Drive — and park — carefully.
NYC parking violations in 2016, by the numbers:
*The Department of Finance wrote $1.5 billion worth of parking violations.
*$226 million in parking violations went unpaid.
*1,140,739 tickets for passenger plate violations went before NYC judges.
*Heaviest parking ticket days tend to be Mondays and Fridays.
*About 50 percent of challenged tickets get dismissed.
NYC Department of Finance