Mobile Parking Payments Revolutionize Parking at Bowling Green State University


Mobile Parking Payments Revolutionize Parking at Bowling Green State University

In June of 2020, Bowling Green State University (BGSU) implemented a mobile parking payment system, catering to the demands of parkers who sought a convenient alternative to paying at traditional payment hardware. This mobile application, launched during the COVID-19 pandemic, garnered immense popularity among students, staff, faculty, and visitors. With 1,852 spaces in ungated surface lots, BGSU recognized the need to embrace digital transformation in parking management. The primary objectives were twofold: to reduce the reliance on expensive payment hardware and to address the issue of parking citations due to overstaying their original parking session, while in class. Now, three years since its launch, the mobile parking payment system boasts an impressive 78 percent adoption rate, enabling BGSU to repurpose redundant pay stations and expand into permit-only lots.

Enhancing Convenience and Efficiency

BGSU’s decision to introduce mobile parking payments stemmed from the desire to offer an improved parking experience to its diverse user base. Prior to the launch, parkers faced challenges such as queuing at payment hardware, fumbling for cash or cards, and the inconvenience of carrying physical parking permits. The mobile application eradicated these inconveniences by allowing users to seamlessly pay for parking from the comfort of their smartphones. By adopting this technology, BGSU succeeded in reducing the reliance on costly payment hardware, providing a hassle-free parking experience for its community.

A Resounding Success During the COVID-19 Pandemic

The timing of the mobile parking payment system’s launch proved to be opportune, as the COVID-19 pandemic led to increased demand for contactless solutions. As individuals sought to minimize physical contact and adhere to social distancing guidelines, the mobile application provided a safe and convenient solution for parking payment. Parkers could avoid unnecessary interactions with payment hardware and handle transactions electronically. 

Adoption and Utilization

The mobile parking payment system quickly gained popularity, with students leading the charge in adopting this innovative solution. The student community embraced the convenience of paying for parking through their smartphones, appreciating the seamless experience and time saved. Faculty, staff, and visitors soon followed suit, recognizing the advantages offered by the mobile application. The flexibility of hourly and daily rates accommodated various parking needs, catering to both short-term visitors and individuals requiring extended parking. 

Furthermore, BGSU expanded the mobile payment system to permit-only lots, enabling on-demand parking options in more areas, further enhancing its usability and value as a hybrid work and class schedule.

The implementation of mobile parking payments has also had a substantial financial impact. From September 2020 to September 2022, there was an impressive 215 percent growth in the number of transactions made through the mobile app. This surge in transactions is a testament to the convenience and popularity of the system among parkers. Moreover, the revenue collected through the mobile app experienced a remarkable 245 percent growth during the same period, highlighting its financial benefits for BGSU.

The mobile payment system has proven to be particularly valuable to the university during the month of April each year, which witnesses an influx of visitors due to annual campus events and career fairs. The convenience of mobile payments during these busy periods has significantly improved traffic flow and reduced parking-related issues, providing a positive experience for both visitors and regular parkers.

Reducing Citations and Increasing Efficiency

One of the significant benefits derived from the mobile parking payment system was its contribution to reducing parking citations. Approximately 10 percent of parking transactions are extensions on the original session, meaning far more parkers remained compliant and avoided citation. Students, often engrossed in their academic activities, were susceptible to overstaying their parking time and incurring penalties due to a lack of means to extend their parking duration. The mobile application enabled parkers to conveniently extend their parking sessions remotely, eliminating the risk of receiving citations. 

Achieving Exceptional Adoption

The success of the mobile parking payment system at BGSU is evident through its impressive 78 percent adoption rate, which reflects the high level of user satisfaction and acceptance. Through the app’s introduction, BGSU was able to minimize redundancy in pay stations, freeing up resources and enabling the repurposing of these areas for other paid services. This cost-effective measure not only reduced expenses related to payment hardware but also facilitated the expansion of parking facilities, meeting the evolving needs of the university community.


Bowling Green State University’s introduction of mobile parking payments has transformed the parking experience for students, staff, faculty, and visitors. By implementing this user-friendly solution, BGSU successfully reduced reliance on traditional payment hardware, streamlined parking operations, and addressed the issue of overstaying without means to re-up parking time. 

The system’s widespread adoption, particularly among students, validates the success of this innovative approach. As BGSU continues to embrace digital transformation, the mobile parking payment system serves as a remarkable example of leveraging technology to enhance convenience, reduce costs, and improve overall efficiency in parking management.

Carmen Donnell, CAPP, is Managing Director NA, PayByPhone and can be reached at 

Teresa Trussell, CAPP, is Senior Sales Director, PayByPhone and can be reached at

Article contributed by:
Carmen Donnell and Teresa Trussell
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