Software Glitch Stops Credit Card Use in NYC Parking Meters

The Department of Transportation has announced that the configuration error in the credit card payment software of New York City’s parking meters is not expected to be fully resolved until later this week.

by Erik Bascome, Staten Island Advance / January 7, 2020
Carl Solder/Unsplash

(TNS) — If you drive in New York City and rely on metered parking, you may want to keep carrying quarters with you until late next week.

The Department of Transportation (DOT) has announced that the configuration error in the credit card payment software of New York City’s parking meters is not expected to be fully resolved until the evening of Thursday, Jan. 9.

This past Thursday, parking meters throughout the city began rejecting payments from credit cards and prepaid parking cards due to a massive oversight on behalf of the company responsible for the city’s parking meter system.

Flowbird, a global vendor for automated parking systems, failed to update the software in the model of parking meters used in New York City, which had an established end date of Jan. 1, 2020, according to the DOT.

As a result, once the established end date had passed, the meters became unable to process credit card and prepaid card payments.

“The outage was caused by an anti-fraud security setting that disabled credit-card payments. We have experienced no security breaches, and Flowbird immediately delivered a reconfiguration fix that is now being deployed,” said David Chauvin, chief communications officer, Flowbird.

“Our company apologizes and deeply regrets the inconvenience that this has caused our customers. Flowbird is taking all the appropriate measures to avoid any similar scenario in the future. Our top priority remains the total satisfaction of the municipalities that put their trust into our solutions,” Chauvin added.

DOT crews are working around the clock to address the issue, with more than 1,750 of the city’s 14,000 parking meters already being repaired as of Friday evening. The department has prioritized DOT lots and areas where credit cards make up the highest percentage of payments.

Additional electricians will be trained and deployed throughout the weekend, working 12-hour shifts, with crews out 24-hours a day until the issue has been fully resolved.

Despite the inability to process cards, drivers are still required to pay the meter by using coins or the free-to-download ParkNYC app.

“We apologize for the inconvenience to drivers, however there are a number of other ways to pay parking meters and ensure drivers do not receive a ticket. NYC parking meters also accept coins, and drivers can also pay using the ParkNYC app. Drivers wishing to pay with a credit card can do so through the app," according to a statement from the city Department of Finance.

However, those using the ParkNYC app are required to load a minimum of $25 onto the app, frustrating some drivers who were required to load more than 10 times the necessary amount to pay the meter.

Rep. Max Rose (D-Staten Island/Brooklyn) has publicly voiced his frustration with the situation, calling on the city to cease issuing tickets until the meters have been fixed.

“The level of incompetence here is staggering. The least DOT could do until this is fixed is suspend the meters and not write any tickets," Rose said.

©2020 Staten Island Advance, N.Y. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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