Today, Speaker Christine C. Quinn, Council Member David G. Greenfield and Committee on Transportation Chair James Vacca announced new legislation that will reform the muni meter payment system and ensure that drivers get what they pay for when parking in New York City.
The announcement was made in Lower Manhattan and the bill will be introduced at the Council’s next stated meeting on May 8.
To address parking issues experienced by many drivers throughout the city, the Council legislation will require that muni meters:
- Shut off and not accept payments when drivers are not required to pay for parking;
- Not accept payments when a machine is out of paper needed to print receipts; and
- Resume accepting payments one hour prior to the onset of meter rules at a location.
“Whether you’re doing your laundry or parking your car, you should always get what you pay for,” said Speaker Quinn. “This legislation ensures drivers will no longer pay for parking at a meter, only to find out that this requirement ended 20 minutes earlier. Our legislation will reduce frustration and increase fairness in how we pay for parking. I want to thank Council Member Greenfield and Chair Vacca for bringing this issue to our attention and for always looking for ways to make life a little easier for New Yorkers.”
This legislation will immediately apply to meters that already have the functionality to do the above, which is approximately half of all existing street meters, mostly located in the Bronx, Queens, Staten Island and Brooklyn. The legislation will exempt existing muni meters that do not currently have the necessary functionality, but requires all meters have this capability within 2 years of the date the bill is enacted.
Today’s announcement complements past Council legislation that works to ensure fair parking, including the establishment of a five minute grace period, as well as a law that requires Traffic Enforcement Agents, with electronic ticketing devices, to cancel a parking ticket immediately if the recipient can show a receipt indicating they have not violated the grace period. This averts the need for drivers to dispute the ticket later, saving them time and effort. The Council also approved a bill to prohibit late fees on parking tickets prior to a determination of liability.
Additionally, under law enacted by the Council, if someone purchases muni-meter time, that time may be used at any metered locations so long as the meter rate at the subsequent locations is the same as, or less than, where the muni-meter time was purchased.
“Muni Meters are great but flawed,” said Council Member Greenfield. “We're just trying to fix those flaws. Nothing is more frustrating than paying for a meter and not getting a receipt. And good luck trying to get your money back. This legislation will make parking more fair and more convenient for thousands of drivers in New York City. I thank Speaker Quinn for her leadership and support on these common-sense fixes to Muni-Meters.”
“We can and should do more to ensure that parking in this city is fair,” said Committee on Transportation Chair James Vacca. “Parking is difficult enough as it is. We should not let muni meters take people for a ride when parking regulations are not in effect or when muni-meters have no paper to issue receipts. Council Member Greenfield’s common sense bill highlights the frustration drivers can do without.”