U of A Moving to High-Tech System for Campus Parking and Enforcement
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – The University of Arkansas is adopting a state-of-the-art, real-time “smart” system to make parking operations on campus smoother and more efficient. It will mean a one-time change for everyone using university parking lots and parking garages.
The U of A has contracted with NuPark, a Texas-based company, to streamline and automate the process of managing, selling and enforcing parking on campus. NuPark provides cloud-based parking-management systems.
The new system is scheduled to go into operation on July 1, when FY18 parking ePermits become available for purchase. Current parking permits may continue to be used until their expiration date as long as the permit holder has ensured their vehicle license information is accurate in in their account.
The key components of the new system are license-plate-recognition technology — known in the industry as LPR — real-time data access and syncing, along with electronic permitting, payments, citations and appeals.
The license-plate-recognition technology will eliminate the need for the familiar color-coded parking permits purchased by students, faculty, staff and campus visitors for the past several decades. Instead everyone will now buy their own ePermit, based on license plate information. Each person can use his or her ePermit for several vehicles, including rental cars, provided only one of those registered vehicles is on campus at a time.
“The LPR system works by electronically monitoring vehicle license plate information,” said Gary Smith, director of U of A Transit and Parking. “We will have two vehicles equipped with license plate scanners patrolling the lots during the enforcement period, covering the campus many times each day. LPR cameras will also be used at the entrances and exits of each parking garage.”
The scanners can automatically tell which licenses are registered for the lot or garage they are in, and which are not. Drivers will be required to park facing forward into the parking space (head in) so the scanner can read the license plate.
Instead of physical parking tickets, the system will send an electronic citation via email or U.S. mail. For vehicles not registered to park on campus, the e-citation will be issued to the registered owner.
Anyone can pay or appeal a citation online at any time.
The system also collects usage statistics as the scanning takes place, helping the university to better assess parking patterns and providing vital information for future planning. No license plate information will be permanently retained by the scanning system.
GETTING AN E-PERMIT
Students, faculty and staff – All ePermits can be purchased online this summer. When the system is ready all current permit holders will get an email with instructions for registering their vehicles.
Several vehicles may be registered on the same ePermit, although only one vehicle may park on campus at a time.
If two family members share vehicles and each has a permit, both vehicles can be registered to both accounts and both may park on campus at the same time. However, if one person has Reserved parking and the other has Faculty/Staff parking, only one vehicle may park in the Reserved parking lot at a time. Both cars may be parked on campus at the same time if one is in the assigned Reserved lot and the other is in a Faculty/Staff lot, or if either one or both are in a Faculty/Staff lot since people with Reserved ePermits are allowed to park in Faculty/Staff lots.
Payment: Faculty/Staff ePermit prices are based on salary, just as they currently are. Employees can pay for their Reserved, Garage or Faculty/Staff permit with a credit/debit card or payroll deduction.
Students can pay for their Resident Reserved, Garage or Student permit with a credit or debit card or by charging it to their student account.
Rental e-Permits: Customers with current ePermits may add rental or loaner vehicles to their account for the time period these vehicles are in use by logging in and adding the vehicle to their account. However, if the driver has more than one vehicle registered, only one may park on campus at a time.
PARKING GARAGE AND METER CHANGES
The Stadium Drive, Harmon Avenue and Garland Avenue garages will be equipped with license plate recognition cameras at each entrance and exit. The multiple-space parking meters in the Stadium Drive and Garland Avenue Garages, and the pay stations in the Harmon Avenue Garage, will be replaced with new multiple space parking meters. These meters will not accept bills but will take credit/debit cards, Razorbucks, coins and a new pay-by phone app. Drivers will enter their vehicle license number in the meter after they park. The LPR cameras will enforce ePermit requirements for the garages as well as hourly meter payment. Parking gates will be removed from the Harmon Avenue Garage once the LPR cameras are installed.
Garland Avenue Parking Garage
Single-space meters on campus, except the gold short-term meters, will also be replaced with the new pay-by-plate multiple space meters.
The new pay-by-phone app is called Whoosh! and is similar to the current Parkmobile app, continuing the feature reminding customers that their time on the meter is expiring. Customers wishing to use the Whoosh! app can download it from their appropriate app store, then set-up an account.
Visitors to campus are encouraged to use the new meters in these garages.
The garage cameras and new parking meters will be installed over the next two months.
About the University of Arkansas: The University of Arkansas provides an internationally competitive education for undergraduate and graduate students in more than 200 academic programs. The university contributes new knowledge, economic development, basic and applied research, and creative activity while also providing service to academic and professional disciplines. The Carnegie Foundation classifies the University of Arkansas among only 2 percent of universities in America that have the highest level of research activity. U.S. News & World Report ranks the University of Arkansas among its top American public research universities. Founded in 1871, the University of Arkansas comprises 10 colleges and schools and maintains a low student-to-faculty ratio that promotes personal attention and close mentoring.
Andy Gilbride, assistant business manager, transit and parking
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