Parking Services began using virtual parking permits for the first time this academic year. The department used a License Plate Recognition (LPR) system which enabled better management of the parking resources. The LPR system involves an electronic database consisting of cameras that are used to scan license plates and ensure that vehicles are parked on campus correctly.
When first introduced last April, the virtual permit system claimed to have many advantages including immediate registration, diminishing the use of physical hangtags, better enforcement and a significant decrease in parking citations.
After its first year, the virtual system indeed accomplished these goals. Faculty, staff and students were able to purchase permits online and register up to three vehicles to their permit, making parking on campus more convenient. The LPR also facilitated enforcement which led to more parking availability for paid permit holders.
With virtual permits, there is no longer a need for actual hangtags, which sometimes can be a hassle when you drive multiple vehicles to campus. The decrease in use of physical hangtags, except for vendors and TU vehicles, has also resulted in a decrease in the use of funds for mailing and printing permits.
Virtual permits not only cut down on costs, but they cut down on citations as well. Parking and Transportation experienced a 10% decrease in issued parking citations for this academic year compared to the 2010-2011 academic year. So let’s have two thumbs up for fewer citations!