Tag Archives: meters

Member News: NYC DOT Announces New Effort to Encourage Contactless Payments for City Parking Meters

April 21, 2020
With COVID-19 concerns, drivers will have a new pay-as-you-go option via ParkMobile smartphone app
Today, the New York City Department of Transportation (DOT) announced a new effort to discourage cash payments at the City’s parking meters and encourage contactless parking payment by smartphone. The Pay-By-Cell option protects the safety of both DOT’s workforce and the public by reducing physical interactions with the City’s 14,000 meters.
Two different apps are now available for download to pay for parking at 80,000 metered spots across New York City:
  • ParkNYC: Launched in December 2016 and available for free download in the Apple Store or Google Play, ParkNYC allows account holders to pay for parking at any metered parking space on a new pay-as-you-go basis with no additional fees after loading an initial $25 wallet balance. The popular app was used for more than 22 million parking transactions last year.

  • ParkMobile: To enhance the Pay-by-Cell program and encourage contactless transactions, DOT is now temporarily offering the option to use the nationwide ParkMobile app for single transactions, for a 15-cent per transaction fee. While meters will continue to accept coins and credit cards, we encourage all customers to consider their own safety and the safety of our workers — and opt for mobile payments. The app accepts Visa, Mastercard, American Express, and Discover.

 “DOT is asking all New Yorkers who can to switch to Pay-By-Cell, which will reduce the need for physical cash transactions at our 14,000 parking meters.  Contactless Pay-By-Cell reduces exposure risk for the public and our workforce,” said DOT Commissioner Polly Trottenberg. “Please help us reduce the need to physically service parking meters and collect, sanitize and securely store cash during this crisis.”
New York City’s parking meters remain in effect to encourage curb turnover, which supports deliveries and essential businesses such as grocery stores, pharmacies and medical providers.  The availability of parking meters also discourages double parking, which enhances safety.  Zone numbers on Muni-Meter decals and under parking signage will work in both apps. DOT encourages all New Yorkers who do not need to travel to stay home to help stop the spread of COVID-19, and expresses its greatest thanks to its own employees — and all other essential workers — for their continued work keeping the city running safely.
About ParkMobile:
ParkMobile, LLC is the leading provider of smart parking and mobility solutions in North America, helping millions of people easily find, reserve, and pay for parking from their mobile devices. The company’s technology is used in thousands of locations across the country, including 7 of the top 10 cities as well as college campuses, airports, and stadiums. People can use ParkMobile solutions to quickly pay for on-street and off-street parking without having to use a meter or kiosk.


DOT: Scott Gastel/Alana Morales (212) 839-4850
ParkMobile: Jeff Perkins (404) 219-4720, jeff.perkins@parkmobile.io

Patrick Christman

When Will They Ever Learn?

Wet and cloudy meter screen.By David M. Feehan

I am going to be kind and not identify the exact location where the meter pictured in this photo is located. Suffice it to say that I was attending a meeting in a Washington D.C., suburb on a rainy evening. As usual, I was running late and did not have a pocket full of quarters. Surely the meters would either accept credit cards or would have a pay-by-cell option. But after I parked and waded through a puddle of water along the curb. I found that the meter was totally unreadable.

What to do? I inserted my credit card. There was no sign indicating a pay-by-cell option. The meters didn’t seem to have a number code. It was rainy and dark.

I work with parking companies and parking operators. I was also thinking about my wife and how she hates parking. She is not alone. In the research my co-authors Barbara Chance, PhD, and Carol Becker, a city official in Minneapolis, did for our book, “Design Downtown for Women–Men Will Follow,” the No. 1 thing most women hate about downtown is parking.

Gender would have made no difference on this rainy night. No one could read this meter. The choices? Enter the meeting late after trying to find a shop that would give me change and risk having to stand all evening as a latecomer; pull my credit card and hope that it somehow read the card and gave me time; or simply walk away and take a chance on a $40 citation.

Today, I wrote the parking management office and sent them a note and the photo. I know how much it costs to replace a whole meter system. I also know that sooner or later these meters will be replaced. When that time comes, think about a cold, rainy night. Think about a customer standing in the rain, peering at an unreadable screen and wondering what to do. Think about how the new meters you are considering would function in rain, snow, and sleet. Be very user conscious and think about that out-of-town visitor without the right app on her cell phone or a pocket full of quarters. Think carefully when you replace those old meters.

David M. Feehan is president of Civitas Consultants, LLC.