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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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Where to Park for the Wawa Welcome America Festival

It’s that time of the year when the weather is amazing, the Phillies season is in full throttle, and Philadelphia welcomes back the Wawa Welcome America festival! The weeklong festival is FREE for the public to enjoy great music, free hoagies, and (of course) an elaborate fireworks show. 

What you need to know:

Between hosting the NFL Draft in 2017 and celebrating the Eagles Super Bowl victory in 2018, Philadelphia knows how to host an event. But this party isn’t just the average gathering—it’s a time to celebrate our culture, history, and the birth of our country.

This week-long festival begins June 29 with free multicultural community events celebrating America’s birthday by giving citizens the opportunity to learn about our nation’s history. Several museums, including the American Swedish Historical Museum and the Independence Seaport Museum, are hosting Free Museum Day—view the whole list here.


Star-studded performances:

On July 4, music icon and actress Jennifer Hudson and pop-star Meghan Trainor will perform some of their biggest hits in the heart of Philadelphia, along with the famous Philly Pops Big Band. The show starts at 7 p.m. on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, and between the food trucks, live music, and fireworks show, you don’t want to miss it.

Since more than 25,000 people are expected to attend the festival, it’s important to plan ahead, especially when it comes to parking. Luckily, we have you covered with multiple options.


If you plan on parking on the street, our meterUP app is the easiest way to pay for parking in Philadelphia. No change? No problem! Use meterUP to pay with your credit card and enjoy convenient perks like adding or stopping time for your parking session straight from your smartphone. The meterUP app provides customized parking notifications to your phone that give you a heads up when your meter is about to expire. Having the information you need in the palm of your hands not only provides you reassurance on your vehicle, but it also allows you to focus on having fun at the festival. 

If you would rather park your car at our off-street parking facilities, check out our locations and rates below — and don’t forget to take note of road closures and parking restrictions during the festivities. 

Questions? Reach out to us on Twitter or Facebook


Parking facilities near Wawa Welcome America:


Family Courthouse Garage:

1503-11 Arch St.
Philadelphia, PA 19102


  •       Up to a ½ hour: $6.00
  •       Up to 1 hour: $13.00
  •       Up to 1 ½ hours: $19.00
  •       Up to 2 hours: $25.00
  •       Up to 12 hours: $27.00
  •       Up to 24 hours: $29.00
  •       Weekends: $11.00 (flat rate per day)


Philadelphia Gateway Parking Garage

1540 Vine St.
Philadelphia, PA 19102


  •       Up to 20 minutes: $3.00
  •       Each additional 20 minutes (or portion): $3.00
  •       Up to 10 hours: $16.00
  •       Over 10 hours: $20.00
  •       Evening Rate (enter after 5 p.m., exit by 9 a.m.): $5.00
  •       Weekend Rate (flat rate per day): $7.00


19TH & Callowhill Street Lot

1901 Callowhill St.
Philadelphia, PA 19130


  •       Up to 1 hour: $6.00
  •       Up to 2 hours: $11.00
  •       Up to 12 hours: $17.00
  •       Up to 24 hours: $20.00



  •       Early Bird (enter before 9 a.m., exit by 6 p.m.) Monday through Friday: $11.00
  •       Weekends: $12.00 (flat rate per day)
  •       Evening (enter after 5 p.m., exit by 9 a.m.): $9.00



Photo by R. Myers for Visit Philadelphia




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The Petri Dish Episode 2: The Benefits of Parking with the PPA at PHL Airport

In the second episode of the PPA Podcast, “The Petri Dish,” our Philadelphia International Airport Parking Operations is the main discussion topic. PPA Executive Director, Scott Petri, sits down with members of our airport operations staff, Frank Ragozzino and Pam Evans, to discuss the convenience provided to the traveling public by our airport parking facilities.




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PPA Awarded GovTech Magazine’s Innovation & Technology Award

On June 25th, 2019, the Philadelphia Parking Authority (PPA) was  awarded the Technology Innovation for Citizens Award by GovTech Magazine for reintroducing its mobile payment application, meterUP. In particular, this award is reserved for government entities that have utilized technology to improve service delivery, user experience and customer satisfaction.

The PPA relaunched it’s meterUP mobile payment application in December 2017. Since then, meterUP’s popularity has continued with over three-hundred thousand downloads and three million parking transactions being completed. MeterUP’s popularity and convenience is also indicated by 4.8 out of 5 rating on iOS and Google Play app stores.

In addition to the convenience of remotely paying all on-street parking meters in Philadelphia, meterUP allows a user to end their parking session early while only charging them for the time they are parked.  This feature is not available in any other first class city and is considered one of the most popular features among our meterUP customers.

Additional meterUP Information:

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New Report Quantifies Economic Cost of Congestion to All Philadelphians



PHILADELPHIA (June 24, 2019) – A new study released today quantifies for the first time the economic cost of Philadelphia’s growing problem of traffic congestion.

The report, completed by Philadelphia-based Econsult Solutions, Inc., finds that congestion within the Center City street grid alone impacts Philadelphians in the following ways:

  • 7 million annual hours lost for bus and car passengers sitting in traffic
  • $152 million in annual time value and transportation cost associated with those delays – a $260 annual tax on each Philadelphia household
  • $21 million in additional SEPTA bus operating costs associated with maintaining the same level of service at slower speeds
  • 15,700 potential jobs and $1.08 billion potential earnings foregone associated with lost productivity – four Comcast Towers worth of unrealized workers
  • $58 million foregone in City and School District tax revenue associated with lower productivity and earnings – or $100 per household

The report notes that congestion is a signal of success, with population and job growth increasing demand for travel across the city. Philadelphia has grown by more than 71,000 jobs since 2010, and grew more than 15,000 jobs in 2018 alone. However, if not controlled congestion threatens to short-circuit economic growth by reducing the attractiveness of Philadelphia as a place to live and do business. In effect, traffic puts a ceiling on the city’s growth potential.

The report’s release comes amidst a significant campaign by the City of Philadelphia, in partnership with SEPTA and the Philadelphia Parking Authority, to better manage congestion by strictly enforcing traffic violations in Center City.

“Congestion in Philadelphia is negatively impacting the quality of bus service, which in turn is contributing to ridership loss,” said SEPTA General Manager Jeffrey D. Knueppel. “Less bus ridership adds even more cars to city streets, further exacerbating the congestion problem. SEPTA is committed to working with the city to breaking this vicious cycle, and this report helps to make clear just how important it is to the future of the city and region that we are successful in this effort.”

As the city has grown, so too has the demand for use of street space. This has created an impetus for thoughtfully managing the public right of way.

“The city has seen an increase in the number of pedestrians, transit riders, bikers, and drivers of all types that share its colonial street grid,” said Michael A. Carroll, City of Philadelphia Deputy Managing Director of the Office of Transportation, Infrastructure, and Sustainability. “At the same time, the emergence of ride-sharing and online shopping with delivery has put new kinds of demand on the grid. The resulting congestion impacts the lives of residents throughout the city, costing them valuable time and limiting their ability to reliably access employment and other opportunities.”

“As the agency tasked with regulating Uber, Lyft, and taxis as well as maintaining the flow of traffic in the city’s numerous business districts, the Philadelphia Parking Authority looks forward to working with our transportation partners to alleviate congestion, while also ensuring the safety of taxis and ride-share vehicles for the riding public,” said PPA Executive Director Scott Petri.

Petri added, “It’s troubling that our inspections of Uber and Lyft vehicles since the beginning of the year uncovered a disturbing trend of 32 percent failing inspection.”

To read the full report, please visit:



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Mayor Signs Roosevelt Boulevard Speed Camera Legislation into Law

PHILADELPHIA — Mayor Jim Kenney today continued progress toward the City’s Vision Zero goal of zero traffic deaths by 2030 by signing legislation to bring speed enforcement cameras along the 12 miles of Roosevelt Boulevard, between 9th Street and the city’s boundary with Bucks County. Cameras will be installed along this High Injury Network corridor by the end of this year.

“Today we are taking an important step to calm speeds on one of the most dangerous roads in our city,” said Mayor Jim Kenney. “At the beginning of my administration, I committed to taking action on the Roosevelt Boulevard. Adding automated speed cameras on the Boulevard is one of the most effective steps that we can take towards eliminating traffic deaths.”

“The Philadelphia Parking Authority is a proud partner in Philadelphia’s Vision Zero initiative,” said PPA Executive Director Scott Petri. “With the ultimate goal of eliminating traffic deaths, we’re confident the implementation of Automated Speed Enforcement will greatly assist in curbing dangerous driving behaviors.”

“We know that speed is especially deadly for people walking and biking, and that if we can get motorists to change their behavior and slow down, we can reduce crashes and save lives,” said Councilwoman Cherelle Parker of the 9th District. “Today is a victory for anyone who wishes to travel safely on Roosevelt Boulevard.”

The Philadelphia Parking Authority will administer the speed camera program along Roosevelt Boulevard, similarly to how the PPA administers the red light camera program throughout the city.

Roadside signs will be posted to alert drivers to automated speed enforcement on the Boulevard. Once the program begins, there will be a 60-day warning period before fines are issued. During this warning period, vehicles identified as speeding will be issued a warning without a fine for the violation. After the 60-day warning period, the program will begin issuing fines.


  • $100.00 – 11 to 19 MPH over the posted speed limit
  • $125.00 – 20 to 29 MPH over the posted speed limit
  • $150.00 – 30+ MPH over the posted speed limit

Up to three violations may be issued to a single motor vehicle within any 30-minute period. Violations do not add points to a driver’s record.

The money collected will be used to cover the program’s costs including equipment, administration, and police officers dedicated to reviewing the violations.

Remaining funds will be used for a transportation safety grants program for things such as intersection safety improvements. The aim of the program is to improve safety and reduce deaths and serious injuries resulting from speeding, not serve as a generator of revenue.

Between 2013 and 2017, there were 2,695 crashes resulting in 139 people being killed or severely injured on Roosevelt Boulevard.

Following the installation of an automated speed enforcement program, New York City reduced speeding at camera locations by 63 percent and fatal crashes by 55 percent (NYCDOT Automated Speed Enforcement Program Report 2014-2017).

Additional Information




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