City of Hoboken Using RFID in Parking Permits

Radio frequency identification is traveling deeper into public spaces, particularly in the city of Hoboken, New Jersey.

With 40,000 residents crammed into its one-square-mile borders, and the city situated along the New Jersey Transit path into New York City, Hoboken is quite literally overrun with cars.

“We’re basically the sixth borough of New York. We’re very over populated and every parking space is a commodity,” said John Corea, director of parking for the city of Hoboken. “We have 4,000 outside spaces and garage space is 12,000. And there are transients everywhere.”

Citizens and itinerate parkers vie daily for the relatively small amount of available and legal parking spaces—often foiling local authorities with out-of-date or fake parking permits.

To better get a handle on the situation, Hoboken officials installed in 2005 tiny, passive UHF [ultra high frequency] RFID chips in all newly issued parking permits, giving parking enforcement officers the ability to distinguish, in an instant, between residents and non-residents and identify counterfeit permits.

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