The New York City Department of Transportation (DOT) has issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) for a pilot program to allow motorists to pay for parking using cellular phones and electronic devices, part of an initiative announced by Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg to use technology to make parking more convenient. This would be the first deployment of this technology in New York; Washington, DC currently is implementing the US’ largest on-street pay-by-phone system.
The system would eliminate the inconvenience of looking for change to feed the meter, allowing motorists to pay in increments up to the maximum allowable amount of time. The program will include more than 300 spaces in a pilot area, still to be determined.
Motorists will register with the system using their electronic device, linked to a credit or debit card, and will call into the system each time they need to begin a parking session. The system could also alert motorists when their time is up, helping them avoid getting tickets. Parking enforcement agents will be able to check payment instantly to verify that the vehicle is parked legally.
DOT is already in the process of modernizing its on-street meter operation by replacing single space meters with muni-meters, and today’s announcement would add this pay-by-phone option to the choices motorists have. Approximately 37% of parking meter rates are currently paid electronically using credit cards and NYC parking cards. With the data gathered from the pilot, DOT would then study the feasibility of implementing this phone option citywide. Proposals are due by 14 Sept. A pilot system could be rolled out by spring.