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Parking in NYC? There's an app for that

Apps that help users stay connected.

Apps that help users stay connected. Photo Credit: AFP / Getty Images

Motorists who want to park on New York City streets soon will be able to pay with a cellphone app instead of meters, Mayor Michael Bloomberg said Thursday.

The new system, already used by cities from Los Angeles to Miami, will allow drivers to pay with an online device or call a toll-free number, Bloomberg said in a statement.

New York City traffic officers will be able to check their handheld devices to see if a driver has paid, instead of scrutinizing the dashboard for the paper receipt printed by a meter.

The city will continue to set the parking rates, and motorists will not pay surcharges, said the mayor, now in the final days of his third and final term.

The new technology was tested successfully earlier this year along the Bronx's Arthur Avenue, Bloomberg said. That area's Italian shops and restaurants often see heavy traffic on weekends.

"Now the rest of the city is ready and waiting for the expansion of the pay-by-phone technology to reach the City's 14,000 parking meters," the mayor said.

All of Manhattan, from 14th Street to 59th Street, is included in the first of the project's five stages, which should finish by early 2015, according to the mayor and a request for proposals from bidders.

The second phase will cover Manhattan south of 14th Street, parts of Brooklyn, and all of Staten Island.

After that, the other phases should start in 30-day intervals, with the rest of Manhattan, and all of the Bronx slated for the third phase.

The fourth phase covers the rest of Brooklyn; Queens is scheduled for the final phase.

Bidders face a Jan. 23 deadline; the first phase starts within 30 days of the contract's registration, according to bidding documents.

Department of Transportation spokesmen could not say whether New York -- like other cities -- will share some parking revenue with the vendor.

New York City also hopes to expand on the use of sensors embedded in parking lanes to let drivers know when spaces are available, the mayor said.

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