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NYC parking meters to go paperless

Minati Bawa

There are about 80,000 parking meters across each of the five boroughs, and the New York City Department of Transportation just announced on April 8 that each will be retrofitted with a new Pay-by-Plate technology.

The 45% of people who own or drive a car in NYC will no longer have paper tickets on their dashboard. Instead, those parking in metered zones will be required to enter their state and license plate information into on-street parking meters. 

In addition to phasing out paper, this new development also allows drivers to add extra time to the meter straight from their smartphones, via the ParkNYC app

According to DOT Commissioner Ydanis Rodríguez, “Our new Pay-by-Plate parking meters are simple to use and will make short-term parking easier for everyone. Drivers will no longer need to worry about leaving a paper receipt on their dashboard and can use the convenience of the ParkNYC app to pay the meter while on the go.”   

Drivers who are out and about, won’t have to worry about running errands near their cars any longer. However, drivers who prefer the old system still have the option to add more time at the kiosk, and parking meters will be offering contactless payment options.

New Pay-by-Plate meters are touchscreen and have a large solar panel different from the older meters.

Parking rates vary by type of vehicle, citywide by zone and other factors. Drivers should be mindful that parking zones with the existing Pay-and-Display meters will still require users to display their receipts in the windshield. More information about rates can be found on

According to PIX 11 News, first rollouts of this new upgrade will begin on May 8 in upper Manhattan and will eventually expand throughout the city. Rollouts in the remaining boroughs are expected to begin around spring 2025. 

According to the DOT website, “the meters will provide real-time data to NYPD traffic enforcement agents to help ensure vehicles don’t overstay the meter.” Traffic agents will be using handheld enforcement devices to identify whether or not drivers have paid. 

This raises concerns regarding faulty technology and instances where drivers who have paid for parking still receive a ticket from an enforcement agent because their vehicle isn’t showing up in the system. 

Despite these concerns, the DOT lists a few benefits that are expected as a result of this change. “Transitioning to the Pay-by-Plate model curbs the carbon footprint, lessens maintenance and repair requirements, and contributes to cleaner streets with reduced litter.” Every day, approximately 8 miles of receipt paper is printed by parking meters. Annually, the length is equivalent to approximately 2,500 miles, which is the distance from NYC to Los Angeles. 

The DOT goes on to add, “The Pay-by-Plate meters are part of the Adams administration’s curb management action plan to maximize use of the city’s curb space to serve the varied needs of New Yorkers, including improving mobility access, and the flow of people, goods and services.”

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