New app allows drivers in all five boroughs to pay for metered parking on cellphones

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NEW YORK -- Say so long to the days of manually feeding the muni-parking meter and leaving a receipt on the dashboard.

Drivers in all the five boroughs will soon get to pay for parking from the comfort of their smart phone with the help of an app being rolled out by the city.

The yet-to-be-named app, which Mayor Bill de Blasio calls a “21st century upgrade,” will allow users to sign up using a credit card and license plate number. The only thing they have to do is punch in the muni meter number to pay with a click from anywhere.

“It is a terrific bit of convenience for drivers, a nice little improvement in quality of life,” DOT Commissioner Polly Trottenberg told PIX11 News.

“Parking can be a hassle in this city and any way we can make it easier, a little bit more technologically friendly, we’re glad to do so.”

City officials first rolled out the app during a pilot program in the Belmont section of the Bronx which they deemed a success.

By the end of the year, the goal is to have it accessible at all the 85,000 metered parking spots across the city.

“The app [will allow] you to set it to give you a 15 minute warning so you can add more money,” Trottenberg explained. “If you still have time on the meter and if you leave early – you will only have to pay for what you use.”

According to Trottenberg, the app won’t cost the city much of anything as its being created for free by a developer and the tablets NYPD officers will be using to scan the plates were already part of the city’s budget.

While the app does have its added benefits, it may not be everyone’s cup of tea.

“Well it will be convenient for everybody who has a phone but not everybody has a phone because you have senior citizens that drive and don’t have the smart phone that they can use here,” Bronx resident Wendy Rodriguez said.

The tech-challenged among us shouldn’t worry as meters will still accept good ol’ fashion U.S. currency.

“This will be a nice option for people who want to use it but it won’t be the only way to pay for parking,” Trottenberg said.