The city is looking to improve the nickel-and-dime-based technology that fuels ours parking meters, and it’s on the hunt for someone with the technology to help. “New York City Department of Transportation Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan today announced a Request for Proposals for a pilot program to allow motorists to pay for parking using cellular phones and electronic devices,” the agency says. An electronic system would eliminate the need to involve dirty pieces of metal in the transaction and allow drivers to pay in a wider range of increments. The city hopes to roll out a test program with about 300 parking spaces, the location of which has yet to be decided.
“We’re giving no quarter to the inconvenience of feeding coins into the meter,” Commissioner Sadik-Khan quipped. The city imagines motorists registering with the system using a smartphone, linking to a credit or debit card, and calling into the system in order to pay. They could even get a call or text message when the time is about to expire, and meter maids can check payment status instantly. “Washington, DC currently is currently implementing the nation’s largest on-street pay-by-phone system,” the release says.
People would still be able to pay with change and, in the areas with muni-meters, using credit cards and NYC parking cards that are already in limited circulation. Proposals are due by September 14 and a pilot system could be rolled out by spring 2012, the city says.
Will any New York start-ups come to the city’s aid? Venmo has been serving person-to-person payments–anyone else set up to help the city on this?