MANHATTAN — Drivers parking in some areas of Midtown will now be able to pay for on-street parking with their smartphones.
The Department of Transportation on Monday announced the rollout of ParkNYC, new phone-payment system for all parking meters in Manhattan between 14th and 59th streets, along with with plans to expand it to meters in all five boroughs over the next six months, according to DOT commissioner Polly Trottenberg.
“We believe ParkNYC is going to be a welcome change for drivers,” Trottenberg said at a news conference Monday in Kips Bay. “You’ll no longer have to fumble for change or put those little tickets on your dashboard. You’ll be able to have the innovation of just pressing an app, putting in a number, and paying for your parking through that app.”
Users of the app pre-load funds into a digital wallet in $25 increments and use those funds to pay as they go. Users are currently unable to load less than $25 as part of an effort to reduce transaction fees paid to credit card companies, Trottenberg said.
Each meter at which the app may be used is outfitted with a sign that includes the meter’s zone number, which the user will enter when paying for the spot.
The app will also allow drivers to add funds remotely, eliminating the need to dash out of the salon with wet hair to feed the meter. Users will not, however be able to add any more time if a given space has a time limit, Trottenberg said.
Here's how it works:
► Download the ParkNYC app or go to the website to create an account, with info including your phone number, email and license-plate number.
► Load cash into your wallet. A ParkNYC wallet works like EZPass, and can be reloaded in increments at of a minimum of $25.
► After parking, enter the unique zone number —found on a sign on the meter — for the block and length of time.
► If time is running out and you haven’t reached the maximum time for the space, parking time can be extended without returning to the car.
The new system, which was developed in partnership with the parking app company ParkMobile, is not costing the city anything, Trottenberg said. And according to ParkMobile CEO Jon Ziglar, the app’s rollout in New York is more of a bid to get a toehold in a massive market than to turn a profit.
“We’re looking at this as a rollout that’s not a huge revenue business for us, but we believe it is critically important for us to be in the largest parking market in the world,” Ziglar said. “As part of that we wanted to make sure we were part of this program.”
The cost to the city will come in the form of transaction fees to credit card companies, but DOT officials did not immediately give an estimate of how much those fees might cost.
In February, the mayor promised to roll out mobile-pay the program by the end of the year.