Instead of swiping a card or scrambling for coins to fill a parking meter, drivers will soon only need a smartphone to buy some time. NY1's Erin Clarke filed the following report.
The city is rolling out a remote parking program, which is being tested on busy Arthur Avenue in the Bronx.
"Parking is a big issue down here and people looking for parking is a big issue and I'm hoping that this will help them not get a ticket," said Regina Delfino, a manager at Mario's Restaurant.
"Muni-Meters are always annoying. Nobody likes to pay for parking meters. Do you have the right change? Do you have the right amount? How long do you have available? It's a nuisance," said Brian Strassburger, a Fordham University student.
The program could lead to fewer tickets perhaps because drivers won't have to use the Muni-Meter.
Drivers just download the PayByPhone App, visit the company's website or give them a call. Their license plate and credit card number are saved, along with the meter they're parked near. That's all drivers need to purchase parking time in 15 minute increments.
Parking enforcement officers can cross check plate number to find out if a driver has paid, meaning no white ticket slips are needed.
"It's a fabulous idea because a lot of times I don't have coins," said one Bronx resident.
But how about being reminded that meter time is almost up? The technology sends drivers an alert via email or text and they can add more time, again right from their phone.
Business owners along the block say that will help them out a bit.
"Sometimes people are sitting and eating and don't have to rush out to put more money in the meter and then they say let's get out of here we're going to go and then they can't stay and spend more time in the neighborhood," said Salvatore Barca, a Belmont business owner.
"I think if they make it easier to park here there will be more people coming to the neighborhood," Delfino said.
And according to Mayor Michael Bloomberg and DOT Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan, getting to that parking spot will be easier too, with the help of a real-time parking map online.
"It uses a simple color coded system: Green, yellow or red coding to tell you the likelihood of finding a parking spot. It doesn't tell you an exact spot to go to," Sadik-Khan said.
While it's not foolproof, the technology is certainly useful. But for those uneasy about embracing change, the old ways of paying the Muni-Meters will continue.