At long last New Yorkers can phone in their parking.
Starting Monday, city drivers can pay the meter through an app, ParkNYC, entering a code for that side of the block posted under the parking rules and on the muni meters, according to the Department of Transportation. The app, free to download, will initially be available to use from 14th Street to 59th Street in Manhattan.
It is expected to be rolled out to the entire city by the middle of next year.
“It’s a huge convenience,” said DOT Commissioner Polly Trottenberg said. “We’re hoping that will mean, perhaps, less enforcement from the NYPD, fewer parking tickets, less of the problem of the meter running out.”
The app is operated by Parkmobile, which runs similar services throughout the country, and is available for iPhone and Android.
Users will be able to increase the amount they put on the meter remotely, until they reach the limit for that space. For example, if a meter has a 2 hour limit, a driver can pay for an hour of that and then pay for the second hour remotely.
Also, the app allows drivers to pay the meter when it starts in the morning (as long as no street cleaning rules force you to move your car first) from the convenience of their home.
Trottenberg said parkers will be notified five minutes before the meter is set to run out.
New Yorkers who set up an account on the app will put in an initial $25, which they will then draw from for parking costs. There are no transactions fees to use the program, and the city will cover the cost of the credit card processing fee.
NYPD Transportation Chief Thomas Chan said traffic enforcement agents will be able to scan the vehicle and see that it was paid by the app.
“It certainly will make [New Yorker’s] busy lives a little bit easier,” Chan said.
City Council Transportation Chair Ydanis Rodriguez said this is only the beginning, and innovations like dynamic pricing based on supply and demand is not too far off.
“Any time saved for New Yorkers is valuable. We know how busy and quick paced our lives are, and how important those moments are,” Rodriguez said. “With upgraded technology in our meter system, we can soon begin to take even bigger steps.”
Trottenberg said this technology opens “the door up to a smarter and more tailored parking policy” for the future.