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Lawmakers Approve Changes To NYC's Muni Meter System

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- The City Council on Wednesday voted in favor of a bill that will end unnecessary parking payments at Muni Meters.

Under the measure, the city's 13,000 Muni Meters will be required to deactivate when parking rules are not in effect or when receipt paper is not available. Currently, if a driver deposits cash into a Muni Meter when payment isn't required, there's no way to get a refund.

"We are trying to make the 'gotcha tickets' something of the past in the City of New York," City Council Speaker Christine Quinn said last month. "We want to stop taking money out of people's pockets that we don't have a right to take."

The legislation will have the machines turn off when drivers are not required to pay, including holidays, weekends or off hours. It will also reject money if the machine is unable to print receipts.

"If you don't have paper in the meter, the meter should be turned off," Councilman David Greenfield (D-44th) said last month. "It's quite a scam the city has going here."

At a town hall meeting Tuesday with CBS 2's Maurice DuBois and Political Reporter Marcia Kramer; WCBS 880's Peter Haskell; 1010 WINS' Juliet Papa; El Diario/La Prensa's Marlene Peralta and Susan Lerner of Common Cause New York, Bronx Chamber of Commerce president Lenny Caro said businesses in the Bronx were losing traffic because of the Muni Meter problems.

"That chases businesses away," Caro said. "I know that I won't go back to that store because I get a $100 ticket. I know that it wasn't my fault. It was Transportation's fault."

Although he received questions about logistics, Greenfield said he heard little opposition to the measure.

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