Washington, DC, tops charts with $159 in annual parking ticket revenue per resident

February, 2014

Ryan Neu

Editor’s note: This is a guest Parking Today Blog post by Ryan Neu, Co-founder of TicketZen (www.ticketzen.com),

the company that says it has “unified and optimized the way we pay parking tickets.” JVH

Parking in major metropolitan cities is no walk in the park.

US cities generate billions of dollars in parking-related fines every

year. While all cities have different policies and vendors to handle parking ticket issuance and collections, we at TicketZen set out to understand how some of the country’s biggest cities stack up in terms of parking ticket revenue generation.

We reviewed the parking ticket revenue and population of New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Boston and Washington, DC.

Approximate Population

New York – 8,210,000

Los Angeles – 3,850,000

San Francisco – 812,000

Boston – 625,000

Washington, DC – 580,000

Next, we looked up the actual parking ticket revenue from the most recently available Comprehensive Annual Financial Reports. In 2011, New York City was the clear front-runner, with almost $600 million in collected parking fine revenue. Boston collected the lowest amount of parking fine revenue at $62.5 million.

Approximate Parking Ticket Revenue

New York City – $591,000,000

Chicago – $263,228,000

Los Angeles – $158,417,000

Washington, DC – $92,600,000

San Francisco – $88,000,000

Boston – $62,500,000

New York City is 14 times bigger than Washington, DC, so it’s no surprise that New York generates more parking ticket revenue than Washington. However, if you look at the amount of parking ticket revenue collected by New York City and break it down into a parking-fine-to-resident level, a different story emerges.

Parking Ticket Fines Per Resident

Of these six cities, we know that New York issues the most parking tickets, but which generates the most parking ticket revenue per resident? By dividing the actual parking ticket revenue by the city’s population, Washington, DC, tops the chart.

Annual Parking Ticket Fine Amount

Per Resident

Washington, DC – $159

 San Francisco – $108

 Boston – $99

Chicago – $97

New York City – $71

Los Angeles – $41

Of the sampled cities, Washington, DC, is the most aggressive in terms of ticket revenue generated per resident. It collects about $159 of parking fine revenue per resident, which is more than 2 times the amount generated by NYC per resident. Next on the list is San Francisco ($108), Boston ($99), Chicago ($97), New York City ($71) and Los Angeles ($41).

DC’s parking office has received a lot of attention recently. In 2011, it generated the same amount of parking ticket revenue as Los Angeles, with only 17,000 parking meters (as compared with 40,000 in Los Angeles).

If you plan on parking in the nation’s capital, feed the meter diligently, or expect to get slapped with a parking ticket. Washington, DC, relies on parking ticket revenue and is quite prolific with parking ticket issuance and compliance.

For more information, and for officials interested in implementing mobile parking ticket collections in their city, contact Ryan Neu, Co-founder of TicketZen, at ryan@ticketzen.com.