Subscribe for FREE with:

Archive for the tag 'muni-meters'


The following is a press release from the offices of Councilman Mark Treyger:

In response to reported incidents involving suspected identity theft at Muni Meters in Brooklyn earlier this year and to better protect the public moving forward, Council Member Mark Treyger introduced legislation today requiring the Department of Transportation to notify cardholders in writing following incidents of security breaches. Under the proposal, the DOT must provide written notification to all affected individuals within ten days after a Muni Meter machine has been compromised and credit or debit card information has been stolen from the system. In addition, the DOT would also be required to post information about the breach on its website.

“Having your identity or personal banking information stolen can lead to costly unauthorized charges, headaches and serious financial issues for victims, and it is clear this problem is on the rise in New York City. I have long been concerned with the lack of urgency on behalf of agencies like the DOT and MTA, and with their failure to take proactive steps to protect the public and inform customers when an incident does occur. The public has a right to know when a machine has been compromised, and the DOT has an obligation to better inform residents that their information might have been stolen,” said Council Member Treyger.

Council Member Treyger has been pushing for greater public notification of breaches and other security concerns by the DOT and other agencies including the MTA since before taking office in January. He publicly called on the MTA and DOT in April to take greater precautions to protect the public and better secure its vending machines after reported instances of card skimming devices and hidden cameras found at stations including 59th Street Columbus Circle. In addition, the NYPD reported in June that Muni Meters along Kings Highway in Brooklyn were targeted by criminals. At that time, the 61st Precinct investigated at least three incidents of people reporting that their credit cards were compromised after using local Muni Meters.

The legislation was introduced at today’s City Council Stated meeting and referred to the Committee on Transportation for review and hearings.



City Councilman-elect Mark Treyger expressed concern that muni-meters could be the target of identity thieves bent on stealing money from unsuspecting motorists. The Brooklyn Daily Eagle is reporting that Treyger wants the Department of Transportation (DOT) to install additional security around muni-meters in light of an identity theft scam that targeted the meters on Long Island.

As the world gets increasingly more digitized, the risk of identity theft grows as credit cards are flashed for the most mundane tasks. The Daily Eagle relayed the details of a New York Times report that proves this point:

Earlier this month, police on Long Island arrested five suspects, including a husband and wife, who allegedly planted cameras in ticket vending machines at Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) stations hoping to record customers’ credit card numbers as they purchased tickets.

The New York Times reported that authorities discovered the hidden cameras hidden in several LIRR ticket vending machines. As soon as the attempted identity theft was discovered, authorities quickly warned LIRR customers to check their credit card and debit card accounts for signs of unauthorized activities…

The identity theft ring was busted when two of the suspects returned to an LIRR station in Sea Cliff to retrieve the hidden camera, authorities said.

The suspects who were allegedly behind the scheme, Valer Zaharia, 38, his wife Teodora Zaharia, 27, Niculae Petre, 45, and Dorin Husa, 37, have been charged with identity theft and could face up to seven years in prison if convicted.

The cameras were also found in Metro-North stations in Westchester.

The news of this particular identity theft scam has led Treyger to leap into action, demanding that the DOT increase security around the meters.

“When New Yorkers use their credit card on city muni-meters, they need to be confident that the city is doing everything possible to protect them,” Treyger told the Daily Eagle. “Identity theft is a serious crime, and it can happen to literally anyone. You can never be too careful. Criminals are getting smarter and smarter, and we must be using cutting edge technology to our advantage to protect New Yorkers.”

In the meantime, whenever using your credit card in public now, I recommend that you squish your body as close as possible to the machine to make sure that no camera or other tricky onlookers get a clear view of your digits.

by CubaGallery via Flickr

(Source: CubaGallery via Flickr)

City Council candidate John Quaglione (R) wants to bring order to the commercial streets of Bensonhurst, Bay Ridge and Dyker Heights. The Brooklyn Daily Eagle is reporting that Quaglione is requesting that the Department of Transportation (DOT) sets clear parking spaces on commercial streets near muni-meters.

The confusion over parking began once the DOT removed the old parking meters that used to delineate parking spaces along commercial streets. The poles were removed so drivers wouldn’t try to pay an out-of-date meter and instead head to a newer muni-meter. Quaglione was one of the advocates who called for the removal of the old parking meter poles but has now realized, like many other drivers, that the removal of clear parking identification has led people to take up more spots than needed.

Quaglione, who is challenging incumbent Vincent Gentile (D) for his seat in the 43rd Councilmanic District, summed up the chaos that has resulted since the old parking meters were removed.

“Muni-meters were designed to create additional parking spaces and ease the burden along our commercial avenues. However, we have each experienced times when you pull up on a spot and realize that if only the person would have moved up or moved back, you would have been able to park your car,” Quaglione told the Daily Eagle, “Efforts have been made to establish parking courtesy, but I believe the markings will go a long way in making a difference.”

According to the Daily Eagle, the candidate has petitioned the DOT over his idea to paint lines near muni-meters and the idea is currently being reviewed by the Parking Operations and Highway Design units.

Councilman David Greenfield (center) and Mayoral Candidate Christine Quinn standing in front of a Muni-Meter

Councilman David Greenfield (center) and Mayoral Candidate Christine Quinn standing in front of a Muni-Meter

Councilman David Greenfield’s effort to pass legislation that would make muni-meters more fair unanimously passed in the Council yesterday. According to a press release, the new law will take place in 90 days, at which time the Department of Transportation will be responsible for reprogramming the meters to match the legislation.

We’ve previously reported on Greenfield’s efforts to reform muni-meter service that has vexed many drivers with unfair tickets. One aspect of the new legislation is that it requires machines to accept payments up to one hour before regulations go into effect. The idea is that people can park their cars and pay to arrive early for work or doctor’s appointments so they don’t have to run and pay the machine at precisely 9 a.m. The new legislation also would make machines refuse payment if they are out of receipt paper.

In the release, Greenfield hailed the measure’s passage as a win for drivers across the city.

“I’m proud to lead the fight in New York to end gotcha parking tickets. It is incredibly frustrating for New Yorkers to have to sit in their car until the parking restriction begins in the morning, or to feed the meter only to find out it is out of paper and can’t issue a receipt. This important legislation will help eliminate unfair tickets for drivers and represents an important step towards fixing our parking system,” said Councilman Greenfield.

Councilman Vincent Gentile, who was a co-sponsor of the legislation, also was adamant in his support for the measure.

“This piece of common sense legislation will effectively end all sorts of frustration for drivers across the city by taking advantage of existing technology,” Gentile said in a release.

The bill also makes muni-meters shut off and not accept payments when drivers are not required to pay for parking.

Councilman David Greenfield (center) and Mayoral Candidate Christine Quinn standing in front of a Muni-Meter

The war against the machines has begun. Muni-Meters, the electronic parking meters, have a lot of flaws and members of the City Council have been seizing on them.

Some of the biggest problems with meters came after Superstorm Sandy wrecked a whole bunch of them. Despite the presence of malfunctioning machines, the Department of Transportation still ticketed drivers. Without giving any notice or direction, drivers were expected to find the nearest working Muni-Meter and pay, outraging people who received tickets.

Earlier in the month, we reported that Councilman David Greenfield planned to reform Muni-Meters by making them accept payments 30 minutes before the meter regulations went into effect. This would allow people finding parking for work or doctor appointments not to have to wait by a meter once it activates at 9 a.m.

The latest legislation on the meters, set to be introduced to the Council on May 8, will address a number of other annoying Muni-Meter problems, according to a press releases recently fired off by a myriad of local elected officials.

“The meters will automatically shut off and not accept payment at times when drivers are not required to pay for parking at that location. In addition, the machines will not accept payment when it is out of paper needed to print receipts, and will allow drivers to pay for parking beginning one hour before the regulations go into effect,” said one release from Greenfield’s office

Politicians were quick to lend support to Greenfield’s measure.

“Whether you’re doing your laundry or parking your car, you should always get what you pay for. 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,” mayoral hopeful Christine Quinn said at a press conference with Greenfield.

Councilman Vincent Gentile also gave a full-throated endorsement of the proposed legislation.

“I have received numerous complaints from constituents in my district who feed their muni-meter only to learn that it is out of paper or out-of-order altogether after they’ve made their payment. This common sense bill will effectively end that sort of frustration,” Gentile said in a press release.

Councilman David Greenfield

Councilman David Greenfield has found a niche in the world of local New York politics: making parking more fair. Having previously been subject to unfair tickets in his own experience and having successfully fought for motorists who have dealt with their own bogus tickets, Greenfield is setting his sights on Muni-Meters.

According to a report by the New York Daily News, Greenfield is introducing a bill that will require Muni-Meters to start accepting payments 30 minutes before meter requirements take effect. Besides the cost, this is the most frustrating thing about the meters because people who arrive for work or appointments early, have to return to the meter once it activates at 9 a.m. or risk paying a ticket.

“It’s a common problem people are having – their days are starting earlier than the meter is,” Greenfield told the Daily News. “You want to go about your business and can’t because the meter hasn’t started… It’s just a convenience issue, and can be easily rectified.”

If Greenfield gets this legislation through, it’ll add to his impressive resume of making the terrible experience of parking just a little less maddening.


The staff at a Borough Park lumber store found a pretty clever way to offset the parking tickets of their customers: They collected used Muni-Meter receipts and let customers attempt to match the date and time of their ticket with a stranger’s receipt.

Boro Park Lumber & Home Center at 4601 New Utrecht Avenue setup a box near their register for customers to either donate a receipt or take one. Drivers with tickets take receipts that match the time of their ticket and fight the traffic cop who issued the ticket in court. Receipts with leftover time can also be taken by a customer who wants to avoid paying the meter.

The concept, like the normally displayed “Take a Penny, Give a Penny” tray, is a way for drivers and customers to share the burden of parking tickets. Unfortunately, it’s fraud.

The box was labeled with the Hebrew word “gemach,” which means an act of kindness or a Jewish loan, without interest.

Gemachs are quite common in most Jewish communities. They extend from financial loans to loaned wedding dresses. In this case, they extend to paid parking spaces.

Roughly about $513 million was collected for parking tickets in 2012, according to records. For many drivers, parking tickets are anything but acts of kindness.

“People come in here all the time to check it out,” said an employee outside the Boro Park Lumber & Home Center to the New York Daily News.

However, a store manager denied having put the box there. He also denied any of his staffers having anything to do with it.

“Somebody outside the store did it. We are not involved in it,” he stated.

Muni-Meter Initiative

Less tickets with roll-over parking minutes

Brooklyn drivers may finally get a reprieve from parking tickets with a bill aimed at clarifying the issue of roll-over paid minutes at muni-meter spots, something that local Assemblyman William Colton has been working towards for some time.

The bill states that drivers who purchase time from a muni-meter parking spot can keep the receipt and use remaining time on another muni-meter spot in the city. The transferred receipt must be for spaces that are equal or lesser value than the original paid spot.

Colton attempted to introduce  similar legislation in February but it did not go far because the City Council wanted a crack at leading the initiative.

Residents had already thought that roll-over minutes were allowed, but received parking tickets when they attempted to use leftover minutes, as previously reported by the Bensonhurst Bean.

The bill has the backing of Council Speaker Christine Quinn and Mayor Bloomberg. Quinn told the NY Post that the bill is “plain and simple. You buy the time, you get to use it.”

Colton said that he’s “pleased the council is finally responding to concerns many of my constituents have been raising for some time.”

The following is a press release from the office of State Senator Marty Golden:


Brooklyn – State Senator Martin J. Golden (R-C-I, Brooklyn) today is
announcing that the New York City Department of Transportation has
responded to his request and has approved two hour parking meters for 3rd
and 5th Avenue.

The Department of Transportation has determined based on Senator
Golden’s request that the need for additional parking time along these two
commercial avenues is warranted. The Bureau of Parking will complete the
work to affect this change by April of this year. Continue Reading »

The following is a press release from the office of Assemblyman William Colton:

New bill by NY Assemblyman William Colton

aims to end parking meter “shell game

“City bureaucrats must stop ticketing New Yorkers for breaking a law that does not exist! New Yorkers are getting ripped off for simply following the law!”                                                                                      -Assemblyman Colton

Who: Brooklyn Assemblyman William Colton (D-Bensonhurst/Gravesend)

What: Assemblyman Colton has introduced legislation (A9065) that would allow New Yorkers to use the same muni meter receipt to park in more than one location. This bill seeks to end what he calls a parking meter “shell game,” which rips off New York motorists.

Why: In September 2011, Assemblyman Colton learned that many New Yorkers were being unfairly ticketed for using the same muni meter receipt with remaining time left on it to park in more than one location, despite no law banning such practice.

However, when first contacted by Assemblyman Colton’s office, the Department of Transportation (DOT) could not clearly state whether New Yorkers were allowed to use Continue Reading »

Next »