The days of frantically racing to the meter, a longstanding New York City tradition, are coming to an end.
By the end of the year, drivers will be able to pay for parking at all 85,000 metered spots with an app.
Drivers will be able to put more time on the meter with just a click, with no printed receipt required, and receive refunds for extra time, according to Mayor Bill de Blasio.
The mayor will announce the plan during his State of the City address Thursday.
“This is a 21st century upgrade that is going to make parking a lot more convenient,” he said in a statement.
The city’s Department of Transportation tested the app in a pilot program that covered 264 parking spaces, as well as a 57-space DOT parking lot in the Belmont section of the Bronx. Police officers will have tablets that will list the cars that have paid through the app.
Drivers who aren’t too tech savvy will still be able to pay muni meters with cash, coins or credit cards.
Some New Yorkers were thrilled by the new payment option.
Shira Roene, 45, from the Upper West Side, said she would prefer using her phone at her own convenience over a standard meter.
“The parking meters in the city are horrendous. They’re ridiculous [and] I have a note in my car,” she said.
Michael Madarasz, 37, from the Upper West Side, said he hoped the app would allow him to use the streets instead of an expensive garage. “The most difficult challenge that I have is finding parking spots,” he said.
Sarah Kaufman, the assistant director of the NYU Rudin Center for Transportation, predicted that the app will catch on quickly.
“People all over the world pay for things with cellphones and the U.S. is far behind,” she said.
(With Jamie Reysen)