New York City drivers can now pay for parking on streets through their smartphones via a new system. Drivers can load a virtual wallet and feed meters remotely through the new process, which will expand to all New York Muni Meters by the third quarter of 2017.

Dreaded NYC Muni Meters

One of the biggest hassles of city life is finding parking, and for those looking for a spot on New York City streets, the frustration is compounded by the ever-present parking meters. Some streets in the outer boroughs of New York still use the old-fashioned meters that only take quarters, but most Manhattan streets have been converted over time to Muni Meters, which were supposed to help ease the process of paying for parking.

Ask any New Yorker, however, and you'll soon find that the Muni Meters are almost universally reviled. For starters, they are constantly breaking down. When they do work, the driver has to go through a painstaking process of paying either via change (they don't take any sort of bills) or credit card (which requires an inordinately long authorization process that often fails to connect), and then, if he or she is lucky enough to eventually receive their prized receipt of payment, go back to the car and make sure it is visible in the windshield. When time is up, the driver then has to go through the same process all over again.

Smartphone Parking Payment System Rolls Out

That's all about to change soon, however, as the city has stepped up its game and is now offering the opportunity to pay for parking via their smartphones. Users need to register their vehicle through a city website and load a minimum of $25 to their ParkNYC virtual wallet, after which they can not only make their initial payment but also refill the meters from wherever they are located. Best of all, users will receive smartphone alerts, letting them know when they have five minutes left on their tab. Parking enforcement agents will have access to a database, which lets them know not to ticket cars that have paid up on time

"With ParkNYC, drivers no longer have to scramble for change or even walk to a Muni-Meter to get a receipt for their dashboard," said Department of Transportation Commissioner Polly Trottenberg. "With no added fees, mobile alerts that let you know when your parking session is ending, and the ability to extend a session without returning to your car, ParkNYC offers a great convenience to New York drivers."

The new system will operate initially in Manhattan between 14th and 59th streets, with a full rollout to all New York City streets expected by Q3 2017.

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