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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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