NYC trying app-only pay plan for Sixth Ave. commercial parking
Commercial vehicle drivers looking to park on one Manhattan avenue better have their phones charged — New York City is testing an app-only payment program on a stretch of Sixth Ave. in Chelsea.
Phone apps will be the only way to pay for commercial parking space along the avenue from W. 14th St. to W. 23rd St. as of Aug. 28, the city Department of Transportation says.
The bulk of that corridor is already reserved for for delivery vans, trucks, and other commercial vehicles.
DOT Commissioner Ydanis Rodriguez said in a statement Wednesday that the phone-only payment pilot will help the city decide whether to require app payments for other parking spaces and services.
“The pay-by-app pilot program is about innovation. Innovation in the way we manage curb space, the way we support small businesses, and the way we provide government services,” he said.
“We will test this promising technology and evaluate the ways it can benefit New Yorkers.”
If the commercial parking trial is deemed a success, the department said in a release, a similar phasing out of physical meters could expand to other parts of the city and for other kinds of drivers.
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Drivers can already pay for any of the city’s roughly 86,000 metered parking spaces though the ParkNYC app.
The program announced Wednesday marks the first time app-pay will be the only allowed method of payment for some parking spots.
The move is intended to reduce the need for maintenance on physical parking meters, and allow for the creation of additional parking spots in the future without the cost of adding machines.
When the app was first put in place, then-DOT Commissioner Polly Trottenberg said an app-based system could save $1.9 million a year in personnel costs and credit card fees.
The DOT also hopes that a streamlined payment process — which doesn’t require drivers to return to their vehicles to feed the meter — will lead to more drivers paying for the full time they use the space.
The ParkNYC app requires a 20 cent “convenience fee” each time money is added to a driver’s app account.