What is a Smart Card?

Smart Cards are the new, convenient way to pay for parking at meters throughout Philadelphia. The size of a credit card, they are similar to a prepaid phone card, in that money is deducted each time you use your Smart Card. This is done via a microchip embedded in each card that tracks the amount of money you have left.

With a Smart Card, you’ll never have to hunt for quarters when you want to park at a meter! They can currently be purchased online in $20 & $50 denominations. They can also be purchased at stores in $10 and & $20 donations.  At this time, Smart Cards are not reloadable; when your Smart Card runs out, please discard it and purchase another.

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How do Smart Cards work?

To pay for parking with your Smart Card, simply insert it into the slot on the parking meter. The meter’s display will show how you much money is left on your Smart Card. Your card will automatically begin adding time to the meter in 25¢ increments, deducting that amount of money from the remaining value on your card. When you reach the desired amount of time on the meter, remove your card from the slot.

Cards will not add time beyond the meter’s pre-set limit, or if purchasing additional time would carry you into a time when parking is prohibited on that block. For example, if your meter is zoned for two hour parking, you will not be able to pay for more than two hours. Similarly, if you park in a space at 3:30 PM that is zoned No Parking 4 PM – 6 PM, you will only be able to pay for 30 minutes using your Smart Card.

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What should I do if I lose my Smart Card?

Smart Cards cannot be replaced if they are lost. Be sure to keep it in a safe place.

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What should I do if my Smart Card is damaged?

If you believe the smart card you received is damaged, call Smart Card Customer Assistance at 215-222-9100.

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What if a meter won’t accept my Smart Card?

If a meter will not accept Smart Card payments, you must pay the meter fee using coins. Meters accept nickel, dime, quarter and dollar coins. If the meter will not accept payment in either form, you may park up to the time limit posted on the block. To report a broken meter, call 888-591-3636.

You can also report a broken meter by clicking here: Report a broken meter

Note: Some meters within the City limits are not on the public roadways of the City of Philadelphia. Meters on private property, like some Drexel University parking lots and Amtrak’s property at 30th Street Station, for instance, are not operated by the Parking Authority and will not take PPA Smart Cards. Such meters may also have different rates and regulations than those that are on City roadways.

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