New York City is expected to collect $550 million in parking violations this year. Due to few parking spaces and the urgency of package delivery, FedEx and UPS have already racked up a $2.8 million bill.
Some delivery companies are writing parking ticket expenses into their budget.
“If we have to double-park, then yes, we will,” a UPS spokesman said. “It’s the cost of doing business.”
The delivery drivers aren't intentionally double parking to make their job easier, the problem is in the availability of parking spaces and loading zones.
The city of New York projects they will collect $550 million off parking violations. While that amount seems staggering, it is only 3 percent of the $18.5 billion the finance department will collect over the course of the year.
By March of this year, $10 million in tickets had already been issued. FedEx and UPS account for 20 to 30 percent of that $10 million; FedEx $1.8 million and UPS $1 million.
Among the others to rack up a large tab are Verizon, US Postal Service and Time Warner.
Parking tickets are dismissible as long as the delivery truck is engaged in “expeditious delivery,” meaning 30 minutes or less. In order to get violations dismissed, the companies have to send in a ticket broker to argue each ticket in front of a judge. The lengthy process tied up courts and cost the city quite a bit of money.
To speed up the process and cut costs, the city of New York has created two free commercial parking programs.
The first, NYC Delivery Solutions, is for businesses that make deliveries. Once approved and enrolled, the companies can manage parking tickets, create bills and request hearings online. As part of the program, businesses waive their right to challenge parking violations and agree to pay a pre-set fine. The pre-set fine is a reduced amount for each infraction. Most double-parking violations are reduced, while red light and bus lane camera violations are not.
The second, Commercial Abatement Program, is for businesses that make pick-ups and service calls. Very similar to the first, businesses waive their right to challenge parking violations but do agree to pay a pre-set fine.
The program, not surprisingly, has critics.
"Preferably, they should be paying the same rate as everybody else, because getting a discount on a parking ticket just exacerbates the problem of congestion,” said Paul Steely White, executive director of Transportation Alternatives.