New York Parking Meters (Finally) Getting Smartphone Pay App

Gotham catches up with the rest of America…and the world.

Parking Meter Smartphone App
Mike Albans/NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images

Yes! Finally you’ll be able to pay the parking meter with your cell phone in New York by the end of 2016. Provided, of course, that one of the city’s 85,000 metered spots is available, the as-yet-unannounced app will allow easy payment, and you can virtually re-stuff the meter with lucre while fetching bagels at Kosser’s. This makes the Big Apple about the 50th city in the U.S. to offer cell-based payment. True, when it comes to public transit New York is the envy of—the United States. And of nowhere else. Perpetually late to the party on innovation, the one thing the City has going for it is an entrenched rider-base and a pre-defined subway network. Which is why lots of people, especially from outer boroughs and beyond, drive.

If you think our organ should be more bullish on driving, nobody wants to drive in New York. Nobody. My personal record for leaving Gotham, from Lower Manhattan to the George Washington Bridge is four hours. That’s a stretch I can cycle, comfortably, in about 45 minutes.

Note that the real “winner” is, naturally, the City of New York. Because the NYPD’s Parking Authority will now be able to keep tabs on every meter at once, and in turn require fewer humans to police the system. More dough coming into city coffers, less leaking out to pay the meter cops to issue tickets. Oh, and we suspect that catching the scofflaw (you and me), almost surely will come directly out of your PayPal enabled app. Gotcha!