New York City Considers Bitcoin for Paying Parking Tickets

Journalist:
Calvin Tran @@clvnthbld
December 26, 2014

The City of New York’s Department of Finance is currently considering using Bitcoin as a method for paying parking tickets. The department issued a Request for Information to find better ways for facilitating the application of parking laws.

The document, titled “Mobile Solutions for Payment and Hearing Scheduling of Parking Tickets,” is available online here.

NYC Looks for Solutions

“The New York City Department of Finance (DOF) is issuing a Request for Information to obtain information on mobile solutions for payment and hearing scheduling for parking tickets. Prospective vendors should understand that this RFI is not a request for proposal but rather a request for information that will assist the City in understanding A) the current market environment for mobile payment options that could provide greater ease for vehicle owners; and B) the current market for technologies that would allow someone to request a hearing and submit evidence.” – Page 2, “Mobile Solutions for Payment and Hearing Scheduling of Parking Tickets.”

Each year, New York City issues some 8 to 10 million parking tickets of which the Department of Finance collects about $550 to $600 million in revenue with an additional $1.5 to $2 million in parking court. At the moment, offenders can only pay by online, mail-in or in-person. The NYC DoF is looking to expand to mobile, and with it, comes the possibility of Bitcoin.

On pages 2 and 3 of the RFI, the DoF lays out their objectives as to find what methods would best fill their needs in both paying and refuting parking tickets with support from mobile platforms to integrate with the existing system that is low-cost and effective for payment, uploading evidence, etc. They list not only Bitcoin, but credit card, ACH transfers, ApplyPay and PayPal as possibilities.

Sending in your suggestions

At the end of the document, the New York City Department of Finance invites companies to pitch themselves. They want a cover letter with a company background, etc. This works for credit card companies, ApplePay and PayPal, but what about Bitcoin, a distributed technology?

Perhaps it will take a Bitcoin ambassador or someone who can talk well enough about Bitcoin. Perhaps each ticket can generate its own target wallet with each person being able to point to the blockchain as proof of payment. Perhaps there are many other solutions available. Who knows?

If you would like to tell the NYC DoF more about Bitcoin and the possibilities of blockchain technology, responses are due by January 15th, 2015 by 3:00PM EST. If you have any questions or inquiries, you are to contact Solomon Israel.

Solomon Israel
Senior Contracting Officer
Email: IsraelS@finance.nyc.gov
Phone: (212) 602-7039
1 Centre Street, 10th Floor, Room 1040
New York, NY 10007

The deadline for inquiries is 5PM EST on January 6th, 2015.

Please read the original RFI for more information here.

New York City, the world is watching

New York City has been the center of a number of debates regarding the future climate for Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. Earlier this year, the State of New York was proactive in their political aims to regulate cryptocurrencies with their New York Department of Financial Services proposal. It is currently being revised.

Also, New York University wrapped their first semester offering a graduate course on cryptocurrencies regarding law and finance. New York University has the most graduates working in Goldman-Sachs, and most of Wall Street.

Images from Shutterstock.

Calvin Tran @@clvnthbld

Calvin Tran is a filmmaker attending NYU's Tisch School of the Arts. He is interested in economics as a way to see the world and inspires him to create media that illustrates the power of freedom and technology in improving all of our lives.