Pilot program launches pay-by-phone parking, spot availability map

By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com |

Screenshot via Google Maps/NYC DOT website
Screenshot via Google Maps/NYC DOT website

A New York City pilot program shows drivers where they can find free parking spots.


The future is here.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg, along with the Department of Transportation (DOT), announced plans to create a new program that would allow drivers to pay parking meters remotely, as well as launching a real-time parking availability map.

“Today, we’re launching a pilot pay-by-phone parking initiative along 18 metered blocks in the Arthur Avenue Business Improvement District as well as an online parking availability map for the area that motorists or passengers can see on the web and on their smartphones,” said Bloomberg. “These new initiatives are just the latest examples of our work to bring parking and driving in New York City into the 21st century.”

Drivers can pay for their spots without the hassle of using money or a credit card at the meter via  a smartphone app called PayByPhone. To register, motorists must first sign up on the PayByPhone website, then enter their license plate numbers and credit card information. The app will send a text or email when the allotted time is about to expire, allowing the driver to add more time up to the allowed limit.

PayByPhone has already partnered with other cities, including San Francisco, Miami, London and Vancouver.

The parking availability program will use sensors embedded in streets to create a map accessible by any web enabled device, which will show when any spots are opened up. The mayor’s office hopes this program will cut down on the time motorists spend on hunting for spots.

Both pilot programs will be tested out across 264 spaces along 18 block faces near Arthur Avenue in the Bronx, as well as at the Department’s Belmont Municipal Parking Field.