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The Petri Dish Episode 3: The PPA’s New Pay-By-Plate Parking Kiosks

In the third episode of the Petri Dish, Scott Petri discusses the installation of new Pay-By-Plate parking kiosks with our On-Street Project Manager, Brendon Crowther. With the new Pay-By-Plate parking kiosks, customers will no longer have to place a receipt on their vehicle’s dashboard. Instead, our Parking Enforcement Officers will verify payment by referencing the license plate numbers of parked vehicles.



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Pay-by-Plate Parking Kiosks: What You Need to Know


It’s out with the old and in with the new — parking kiosks that is.

On Tuesday, October 15th, we began installing new, state of the art, Pay-by-Plate parking kiosks throughout the city to improve the overall parking experience for Philadelphia’s residents and visitors.

The new Pay-by-Plate parking kiosks are jam packed with features that make paying for on-street parking a seamless and hassle-free experience. To get better versed in the change to the parking experience in Philadelphia, check out everything you need to know below.

Psst — make sure you have your license plate memorized.


What is going to happen?

The Philadelphia Parking Authority will begin a transition, in which it will change from a Pay and Display Meter Parking platform to a Pay by Plate Meter Parking platform. In addition, the single space meters will also be replaced with a Pay by Plate platform.

When will the changes happen?

The PPA will begin installing the new Pay-by-Plate parking kiosks on Tuesday, October 15th, 2019.

Where will the changes happen?

The Philadelphia Parking Authority will be implementing the Pay by Plate meters city wide beginning in Center City.

Why is the Philadelphia Parking Authority installing new kiosks?

The current kiosk and single space meters have reached the end of their life expectancy.

Will the parking rates stay the same?

Yes, there are no current plans to change the parking meter rates.

What will be the new features of pay-by-plate kiosks?

  • 9” color touch screen
  • 4 languages available ( English, Spanish, French, and Mandarin)
  • Optional receipt
  • Solar Powered
  • Tracks payment by license plate number

What are the benefits of new pay-by-plate kiosks?

  • Citizens do not need to display their parking receipt on dashboard
  • Citizens have the ability to use any kiosk, as long as they have the zone number they are parked in
  • Kiosk has a full color touch screen
  • Citizens have the ability to choose if they want to print their receipt, have the receipt texted to their mobile device, or not print a receipt

What is a parking kiosk?

A kiosk, also known as a multi-space meter, is a solar powered device used to manage multiple parking spaces.

How are the new pay-by-plate kiosks different from the old kiosks?

The new kiosks feature a pay-by-plate platform which eliminates the need for citizens to display a parking receipt on their dashboard. Instead, customers input their license plate number when making payment.  After making payment, our officers will check the license plate number with their handheld ticketing device to confirm your payment. The new pay-by-plate kiosks will also allow customers to pay for parking at any kiosk so long as the customer properly enters their license plate number and the zone number in which they parked. 

How many new pay-by-plate kiosks will be installed?

The PPA expects approximately 2,000 new pay-by-plate parking kiosks to be installed. 

How do I use the new pay-by-plate kiosks?

What forms of payment are accepted at a pay-by-plate kiosk?

The new pay-by-plate kiosks will accept credit cards and coins. Mobile payments can also be made through our mobile payment app, meterUP.

How does the Parking Enforcement Officer know I paid?

The Parking Enforcement Officer will scan your license plate number with their handheld ticketing device to verify your payment. 

NOTE: It is very important that you ensure your license plate number is correctly entered into the kiosk.

How do I get a receipt?

Obtaining a receipt will be optional. Users will have the option to either print a receipt, or have a receipt sent through text message. Receipts can also be obtained online at the link provided below.

What happens if I get a ticket when I paid for parking?

If you would like to dispute a parking ticket that you believe was issued in error, please follow the instructions located on our website at

If there is no kiosk in front of my parking space, do I still have to pay?

Yes, each block regulated by metered parking will have a kiosk centralized in the middle of the block. There will also be parking regulation signs indicating you must pay at the kiosk.


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Philadelphia Parking Authority to Begin Installation of NEW Solar-Powered “Pay-By-Plate” Parking Kiosks


(PHILADELPHIA) — Philadelphia Parking Authority (PPA) Executive Director, Scott Petri, announced during a press conference today that installation of new solar-powered “Pay-By-Plate” parking kiosks will begin in Center City on October 15, 2019, and will eventually expand city-wide to replace all existing kiosks and stand alone coin-operated parking meters.

In making the announcement, Petri said, “The PPA has always embraced the use of innovative technology to improve efficiency and the overall parking experience and quality of life for Philadelphia’s residents and visitors.The key to our new kiosks is remembering your license plate number.  Your license plate number is the basis for our new on-street parking operation.”

According to Petri, “Kiosk customers will be required to enter their license plate number, parking zone number, select payment methods of coin, credit or debit card. PPA enforcement officers will verify customer payment by electronically scanning each license plate to verify payment.”

The PPA’s “Pay-By-Plate” kiosks will initially be installed at current kiosk locations in Center City and will expand beyond that area and eventually go citywide — replacing all other kiosks and coin operated meters throughout Philadelphia. 

Petri stressed that “Customers must correctly enter their license plate number and will no longer be required to print a receipt from the kiosk that they were previously required to place on their vehicle’s dashboard — but they can choose to print a receipt, or receive one via text message,” he said.

During the transition period when new “Pay-By-Plate” kiosks are being installed to replace the existing kiosks, customers are reminded that until all kiosks are installed city-wide, both types of kiosks and stand-alone coin meters will be in operation in different parts of the city.

Below is a short video demonstrating how the new solar-powered “Pay-By-Plate” kiosks work;



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Avoiding Parking Tickets: How It’s Done

The primary goal of the Philadelphia Parking Authority is to ensure a safe and continuous traffic flow for Philadelphia’s residents and visitors. One of the ways we accomplish this goal is by enforcing the city’s parking regulations. So what does that mean?

Yep, you guessed it. That means at times we have to issue parking tickets to deter drivers from committing parking violations so we can keep Philadelphia moving. 

Though there are greater tragedies in life, a parking ticket always has the ability to give you that, “Aw man, really?” feeling. Good news though: we have quite a few simple tips to keep tickets off your windshield. Check them out below. 


Feed the meter with meterUP

Ever have a business meeting that’s running over schedule? Ever been on a date that’s going so well that you’re staying for desert? Good news: In Philadelphia you don’t have to frantically run back to your vehicle to feed the meter.

Meter expired tickets are the most common parking tickets issued in Philadelphia, but also the easiest to avoid. With our mobile payment app, meterUP, you can pay the parking meter with a few taps of your fingers. To make things even more convenient, you can also remotely extend your parking session directly from your smartphone.

Sound simple enough? Join over 400,000 users and give meterUP a download on your iOS or Android device and let Laronda give you the full run-down in the video above. Additional information can also be found here


 Carefully Read the Signs

When it comes to parking, understanding the signs can be the difference between getting a parking ticket and remaining ticketless. In the long run, just keep this in mind:

Red = Bad
Green = Good

Red arrows and letters always indicate a parking restriction while green lettering and arrows indicate when parking is allowed. After taking note of the restrictions, just ask yourself, “What is the current day and time?” From there, just follow the instructions for that particular day and time. Oh yeah — don’t forget to feed the meter if the signs indicate payment is required. Remember: we have an app for that. 


Steer Clear of Bus Zones

Bus zones are for? You guessed it: buses.

A robust public transportation system is crucial to the economic vitality of Philadelphia — and when crucial bus lanes are blocked by illegally parked vehicles, that creates hours in lost productivity, added congestion, and of course a bus load of frustrated commuters.

You get the point: steer clear of bus zones, which are clearly marked by signs and indicator arrows painted on the street. If you happen to park in a bus zone, there’s a good chance you’ll come back to a $76 ticket on your windshield.


    Use Our Off-Street Parking Garages 

Generally speaking, we don’t encourage you to park at on-street parking meters for an extended period of time. In the long run, it’s more economical to park at an off-street parking garage if you plan on staying in the city for longer durations. If this sounds like your type of parking scenario, we’ve got you covered and then some.

The PPA operates seven garages in Center City in close proximity to some of Philadelphia’s hotspots — and by the way, they have the cheapest parking rates in the city. For additional information on garage locations and rates, hit the link here.

Get a Residential Parking Permit

Live on a street that has the above pictured sign? You should probably get a residential parking permit.

Residents in eligible areas can purchase parking permits that exempt their vehicles from meter and time limit restrictions on streets where the above pictured signs are posted. These permits help ensure residents can find parking spaces near their home instead of circling around aimlessly for a parking space. Keep in mind: Your vehicle must be registered to an address in a residential parking district and you must provide an additional proof of residence such as a lease or utility bill.

Sound like you? Click here to apply for a residential parking permit and if you have any questions, feel free to call our permit team at 215-683-9730. 


Disabled Only Parking Zones

Throughout the city you will notice parking spaces reserved for motorists with physical disabilities. That means if you park in a space reserved for those with disabilities, you must have a valid disabled placard or license plate. 

If you happen to park in a disabled only parking space without the necessary placard or license plate, there’s a good chance you’ll be issued a $301 parking ticket. 

If you or someone you know has a physical disability that needs parking close to their home, additional information can be found here.  Information on obtaining a disabled placard or license plate can also be found on PennDOT’s website here.

Avoid Additional Safety Violations

Philadelphia is well known as a very walkable city — and our officers enforce parking regulations not only to ensure a safe and continuous vehicular traffic flow, but also a safe pedestrian foot traffic flow. 

To keep Philadelphia walkable, and of course avoid parking tickets, make sure you’re avoiding the following.

  • Parking on a sidewalk
  • Parking on a crosswalk
  • Parking in front of ADA access ramps
  • Parking within 15 feet of a fire hydrant
  • Parking within 20 feet of a crosswalk at an intersection
  • Parking on a marked snow emergency route during declared snow emergencies

Have questions? Let’s hear them on Twitter and Facebook. And remember: If you believe you were wrongfully issued a ticket, you have multiple options for disputing them.


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Where to Park for the Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon

‘Tis the Running Season

It’s that time of year again! This September, runners from all around the Philadelphia region will meet at the famous Philadelphia Museum of Art steps to run either 13.1 miles, 10K, or 5K at the annual Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon.

The Lowdown

The marathon gets underway on Sunday, September 15th at 7:30 a.m. at Eakins Oval.

As runners make it across the finish line, they’ll be greeted with live rock and roll performances and a complimentary beer at Eakins Oval. On top of that, anyone who participates in both race days will earn an additional medal.

For the complete rundown on this year’s Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon, check out the event website.

Where should you park?

Since the streets will be packed full of runners, you can expect road closures and a shortage of street parking on race days. Luckily, our 19th and Callowhill lot and Gateway Parking Garage are within close walking distance, and they both offer discounted weekend rates. Spots will likely fill up quick, so plan accordingly and check out the rates below.

If you would rather find street parking, make sure you use meterUP, our mobile payment app. With meterUP, you can even feed your parking meter while you’re in full sprint!  


1901 Callowhill St.

Philadelphia, PA 19130


  • Weekends: $12.00 (flat rate per day)


1540 Vine St.

Philadelphia, PA 19102


  • Weekends: $7.00 (flat rate per day)

Need parking assistance? Find us on Facebook or Twitter so we can help.



Photo courtesy Competitor Group, Inc. via Visit Philly


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City Announces Chestnut Street Loading Zone Pilot

PHILADELPHIA — To reduce congestion and improve travel times on Chestnut Street, the City announced today plans for a six month loading zone pilot

In partnership with DVRPC, SEPTA, and PPA, the City will alter parking and loading regulations on Chestnut Street from the 600 block to the 2000 block. The project includes:

  • Creating 80’-100’ passenger and freight loading zones with 20 minute time limits available all-day (Monday through Sunday), located on the western end of each block;
  • Moving 20’ of parking for people with disabilities to the eastern end of each block to enhance accessibility; and
  • Extending the two hour enforced meter parking time to 6 a.m. – 2 a.m. on the remainder of the block.

Currently, parking rules for the majority of the north-side curb of Chestnut Street from 20th to 6th Streets allow loading from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. However, when parking is permitted, the lack of loading zones causes loading to spill onto travel lanes. This leads to congestion and safety problems. During the pilot, trucks and marked commercial vehicles are no longer prohibited after 10 a.m., and may utilize the 20 minute loading all day long or pay to park in a metered area during the posted hours. By creating additional loading zones during the pilot period, the city hopes to reduce congestion and improve travel times. 

The pilot also includes plans to address other curbside demands besides loading along Chestnut Street, including:

  • Expansion of the Indego bike sharing system, with two new stations being added on the 1600 and 1800 blocks of Chestnut Street
  • Designated valet parking at an existing location on the 1300 block of Chestnut Street
  • Motorcycle parking on the 1500 and 1700 blocks of Chestnut Street

The rapid increase in passenger and freight loading in Philadelphia is increasing curbside demand. Improving curbside management and improving bus operations on Chestnut Street are deliverables in CONNECT: Philadelphia’s Strategic Transportation Plan. A Fall 2018 program found that increased enforcement of the bus, bike, and turn only lanes on Chestnut Street led to significant reductions in bus travel times, with slight reductions in travel times for cars using Chestnut Street. 

To assess the effectiveness of the six month loading zone pilot, the following metrics will be monitored in the study area: change in bus travel times on Chestnut Street, change in private vehicle travel time, continued observation of DVRPC video footage, and change in PPA meter revenue and ticketing.

To download the Chestnut Street Loading Zone Pilot project flyer including graphics of the new street configurations, click here.




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